Publications by authors named "Joel Faustino"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Viral mimetic triggers cerebral arteriopathy in juvenile brain via neutrophil elastase and NETosis.

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2021 Jul 22:271678X211032737. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Department of Neurology, University California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Stroke is among the top ten causes of death in children but has received disproportionally little attention. Cerebral arteriopathies account for up to 80% of childhood arterial ischemic stroke (CAIS) cases and are strongly predictive of CAIS recurrence and poorer outcomes. The underlying mechanisms of sensitization of neurovasculature by viral infection are undefined. In the first age-appropriate model for childhood arteriopathy-by administration of viral mimetic TLR3-agonist Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (Poly-IC) in juvenile mice-we identified a key role of the TLR3-neutrophil axis in disrupting the structural-functional integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and distorting the developing neurovascular architecture and vascular networks. First, using an array of vascular imaging, genetic, enzymatic and pharmacological approaches, we report marked Poly-IC-mediated extravascular leakage of albumin (66kDa) and of a small molecule DiI (∼934Da) and disrupted tight junctions. Poly-IC also enhanced the neuroinflammatory milieu, promoted neutrophil recruitment, profoundly upregulated neutrophil elastase (NE), and induced neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis). Finally, we show that functional BBB disturbances, NETosis and neuroinflammation are markedly attenuated by pharmacological inhibition of NE (Sivelestat). Altogether, these data reveal NE/NETosis as a novel therapeutic target for viral-induced cerebral arteriopathies in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0271678X211032737DOI Listing
July 2021

Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC)-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Protect from Neonatal Stroke by Interacting with Microglial Cells.

Neurotherapeutics 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Neurology, UCSF, 675 Nelson Rising Lane, San Francisco, CA, 94158-0663, USA.

Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based therapies are beneficial in models of perinatal stroke and hypoxia-ischemia. Mounting evidence suggests that in adult injury models, including stroke, MSC-derived small extracellular vesicles (MSC-sEV) contribute to the neuroprotective and regenerative effects of MSCs. Herein, we examined if MSC-sEV protect neonatal brain from stroke and if this effect is mediated via communication with microglia. MSC-sEV derived from bone marrow MSCs were characterized by size distribution (NanoSight™) and identity (protein markers). Studies in microglial cells isolated from the injured or contralateral cortex of postnatal day 9 (P9) mice subjected to a 3-h middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) and cultured (in vitro) revealed that uptake of fluorescently labeled MSC-sEV was significantly greater by microglia from the injured cortex vs. contralateral cortex. The cell-type-specific spatiotemporal distribution of MSC-sEV was also determined in vivo after tMCAO at P9. MSC-sEV administered at reperfusion, either by intracerebroventricular (ICV) or by intranasal (IN) routes, accumulated in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the occlusion, with differing spatial distribution 2 h, 18 h, and 72 h regardless of the administration route. By 72 h, MSC-sEV in the IN group was predominantly observed in Iba1 cells with retracted processes and in GLUT1 blood vessels in ischemic-reperfused regions. MSC-sEV presence in Iba1 cells was sustained. MSC-sEV administration also significantly reduced injury volume 72 h after tMCAO in part via modulatory effects on microglial cells. Together, these data establish feasibility for MSC-sEV delivery to injured neonatal brain via a clinically relevant IN route, which affords protection during sub-acute injury phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13311-021-01076-9DOI Listing
July 2021

Neonatal stroke enhances interaction of microglia-derived extracellular vesicles with microglial cells.

Neurobiol Dis 2021 Sep 19;157:105431. Epub 2021 Jun 19.

Department of Neurology, UCSF, San Francisco, CA, USA. Electronic address:

Microglial cells support brain homeostasis under physiological conditions and modulate brain injury in a context-dependent and brain maturation-dependent manner. Microglial cells protect neonatal brain from acute stroke. While microglial signaling via direct cell-cell interaction and release of variety of molecules is intensely studied, less is known about microglial signaling via release and uptake of extracellular vesicles (EVs). We asked whether neonatal stroke alters release of microglial EVs (MEV) and MEV communication with activated microglia. We pulled down and plated microglia from ischemic-reperfused and contralateral cortex 24 h after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) in postnatal day 9 mice, isolated and characterized microglia-derived microvesicles (P3-MEV) and exosomes (P4-MEV), and determined uptake of fluorescently labeled P3-MEV and P4-MEV by plated microglia derived from ischemic-reperfused and contralateral cortex. We then examined how reducing EVs release in neonatal brain-by intra-cortical injection of CRISPR-Cas9-Smpd3/KO (Smpd3/KD) to downregulate Smpd3 gene to disrupt neutral sphingomyelinase-2 (N-SMase2)-impacts P3-MEV and P4-MEV release and stroke injury. Both size and protein composition differed between P3-MEV and P4-MEV. tMCAO further altered protein composition of P3-MEV and P4-MEV and significantly, up to 5-fold, increased uptake of both vesicle subtypes by microglia from ischemic-reperfused regions. Under physiological conditions neurons were the predominant cell type expressing N-SMase-2, an enzyme involved in lipid signaling and EVs release. After tMCAO N-SMase-2 expression was diminished in injured neurons but increased in activated microglia/macrophages, leading to overall reduced N-SMase-2 activity. Compared to intracerebral injection of control plasmid, CRISPR-Cas9-Smpd3/Ct, Smpd3/KD injection further reduced N-SMase-2 activity and significantly reduced injury. Smpd3 downregulation decreased MEV release from injured regions, reduced Smpd3/KD-P3-MEV uptake and abolished Smpd3/KD-P4-MEV uptake by microglia from ischemic-reperfused region. Cumulatively, these data demonstrate that microglial cells release both microvesicles and exosomes in naïve neonatal brain, that the state of microglial activation determines both properties of released EVs and their recognition/uptake by microglia in ischemic-reperfused and control regions, suggesting a modulatory role of MEV in neonatal stroke, and that sphingosine/N-SMase-2 signaling contributes both to EVs release and uptake (predominantly P4-MEV) after neonatal stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2021.105431DOI Listing
September 2021

Neonatal Stroke and TLR1/2 Ligand Recruit Myeloid Cells through the Choroid Plexus in a CX3CR1-CCR2- and Context-Specific Manner.

J Neurosci 2020 05 8;40(19):3849-3861. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94158

Neonatal stroke is as frequent as stroke in the elderly, but many pathophysiological injury aspects are distinct in neonates, including immune signaling. While myeloid cells can traffic into the brain via multiple routes, the choroid plexus (CP) has been identified as a uniquely educated gate for immune cell traffic during health and disease. To understand the mechanisms of myeloid cell trafficking via the CP and their influence on neonatal stroke, we characterized the phenotypes of CP-infiltrating myeloid cells after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) in neonatal mice of both sexes in relation to blood-brain barrier permeability, injury, microglial activation, and CX3CR1-CCR2 signaling, focusing on the dynamics early after reperfusion. We demonstrate rapid recruitment of multiple myeloid phenotypes in the CP ipsilateral to the injury, including inflammatory CD45CD11bLy6cCD86, beneficial CD45CD11bLy6cCD206, and CD45CD11bLy6cLy6g cells, but only minor leukocyte infiltration into acutely ischemic-reperfused cortex and negligible vascular albumin leakage. We report that CX3CR1-CCR2-mediated myeloid cell recruitment contributes to stroke injury. Considering the complexity of inflammatory cascades triggered by stroke and a role for TLR2 in injury, we also used direct TLR2 stimulation as an independent injury model. TLR2 agonist rapidly recruited myeloid cells to the CP, increased leukocytosis in the CSF and blood, but infiltration into the cortex remained low over time. While the magnitude and the phenotypes of myeloid cells diverged between tMCAO and TLR2 stimulation, in both models, disruption of CX3CR1-CCR2 signaling attenuated both monocyte and neutrophil trafficking to the CP and cortex. Stroke during the neonatal period leads to long-term disabilities. The mechanisms of ischemic injury and inflammatory response differ greatly between the immature and adult brain. We examined leukocyte trafficking via the choroid plexus (CP) following neonatal stroke in relation to blood-brain barrier integrity, injury, microglial activation, and signaling via CX3CR1 and CCR2 receptors, or following direct TLR2 stimulation. Ischemia-reperfusion triggered marked unilateral CX3CR1-CCR2 dependent accumulation of diverse leukocyte subpopulations in the CP without inducing extravascular albumin leakage or major leukocyte infiltration into the brain. Disrupted CX3CR1-CCR2 signaling was neuroprotective in part by attenuating monocyte and neutrophil trafficking. Understanding the migratory patterns of CP-infiltrating myeloid cells with intact and disrupted CX3CR1-CCR2 signaling could identify novel therapeutic targets to protect the neonatal brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2149-19.2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7204080PMC
May 2020

CX3CR1-CCR2-dependent monocyte-microglial signaling modulates neurovascular leakage and acute injury in a mouse model of childhood stroke.

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2019 10 10;39(10):1919-1935. Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Department of Neurology, University California San Francisco, CA, USA.

Stroke is among the top 10 causes of death in children. The developmental stage of the brain is central to stroke pathophysiology. The incidence of childhood arterial ischemic stroke (CAIS) is lower than of perinatal arterial ischemic stroke but the rate of recurrence is strikingly high. Vascular inflammation is seen as major contributor to CAIS but the mechanisms that govern structural-functional basis of vascular abnormalities remain poorly understood. To identify the contribution of immune-neurovascular interactions to CAIS, we established stroke model in postnatal day 21 (P21) mice. We demonstrate acute functional deficits and histological injury and chronic MRI-identifiable injury, brain atrophy and marked derangements in the vascular network. In contrast to negligible albumin leakage and neutrophil infiltration following acute perinatal stroke, CAIS leads to significantly increased albumin leakage and neutrophil infiltration in injured regions of wild type mice and mice with functional CX3CR1-CCR2 receptors. In mice with dysfunctional CX3CR1-CCR2 signaling, extravascular albumin leakage is significantly attenuated, infiltration of injurious Ccr2-monocytes essentially aborted, accumulation of Ly6G+ neutrophils reduced and acute injury attenuated. Unique identifiers of microglia and monocytes revealed phenotypic changes in each cell subtype of the monocyte lineage after CAIS. Taken together, CX3CR1-CCR2-dependent microglia-monocyte signaling contributes to cerebrovascular leakage, inflammation and CAIS injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0271678X18817663DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6775594PMC
October 2019

Live imaging of the innate immune response in neonates reveals differential TLR2 dependent activation patterns in sterile inflammation and infection.

Brain Behav Immun 2017 Oct 1;65:312-327. Epub 2017 Jun 1.

Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Research Center of the IUSMQ, 2601, de la Canardière, Québec, QC G1J 2G3, Canada. Electronic address:

Activation of microglial cells in response to brain injury and/or immune stimuli is associated with a marked induction of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). While in adult brain, the contribution of individual TLRs, including TLR2, in pathophysiological cascades has been well established, their role and spatial and temporal induction patterns in immature brain are far less understood. To examine whether infectious stimuli and sterile inflammatory stimuli trigger distinct TLR2-mediated innate immune responses, we used three models in postnatal day 9 (P9) mice, a model of infection induced by systemic endotoxin injection and two models of sterile inflammation, intra-cortical IL-1β injection and transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO). We took advantage of a transgenic mouse model bearing the dual reporter system luciferase/GFP under transcriptional control of a murine TLR2 promoter (TLR2-luc-GFP) to visualize the TLR2 response in the living neonatal brain and then determined neuroinflammation, microglial activation and leukocyte infiltration. We show that in physiological postnatal brain development the in vivo TLR2-luc signal undergoes a marked ∼30-fold decline and temporal-spatial changes during the second and third postnatal weeks. We then show that while endotoxin robustly induces the in vivo TLR2-luc signal in the living brain and increases levels of several inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, the in vivo TLR2-luc signal is reduced after both IL-1β and tMCAO and the inflammatory response is muted. Immunofluorescence revealed that microglial cells are the predominant source of TLR2 production during postnatal brain development and in all three neonatal models studied. Flow cytometry revealed developmental changes in CD11b/CD45 and CD11b/Ly6C cell populations, involvement of cells of the monocyte lineage, but lack of Ly6G neutrophils or CD3 cells in acutely injured neonatal brains. Cumulatively, our results suggest distinct TLR2 induction patterns following PAMP and DAMP - mediated inflammation in immature brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2017.05.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6151183PMC
October 2017

Genetic deletion of galectin-3 enhances neuroinflammation, affects microglial activation and contributes to sub-chronic injury in experimental neonatal focal stroke.

Brain Behav Immun 2017 Feb 9;60:270-281. Epub 2016 Nov 9.

Department of Neurology, University California San Francisco, CA 94158-0663, USA. Electronic address:

The pathophysiology of neonatal stroke and adult stroke are distinct in many aspects, including the inflammatory response. We previously showed endogenously protective functions of microglial cells in acute neonatal stroke. We asked if galectin-3 (Gal3), a pleotropic molecule that mediates interactions between microglia/macrophages and the extracellular matrix (ECM), plays a role in early injury after transient middle cerebral occlusion (tMCAO) in postnatal day 9-10 mice. Compared to wild type (WT) pups, in Gal3 knockout pups injury was worse and cytokine/chemokine production altered, including further increase of MIP1α and MIP1β levels and reduced IL6 levels 72h after tMCAO. Lack of Gal3 did not affect morphological transformation or proliferation of microglia but markedly attenuated accumulation of CD11b/CD45 cells after injury, as determined by multi-color flow cytometry. tMCAO increased expression of αV and β integrin subunits in CD11b/CD45 microglial cells and cells of non-monocyte lineage (CD11b/CD45), but not in CD11b/CD45 cells within injured regions of WT mice or Gal3-/- mice. αV upregulated in areas occupied and not occupied by CD68 cells, most prominently in the ECM, lining blood vessels, with expanded αV coverage in Gal3-/- mice. Cumulatively, these data show that lack of Gal3 worsens subchronic injury after neonatal focal stroke, likely by altering the neuroinflammatory milieu, including an imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules, effects on microglial activation, and deregulation of the composition of the ECM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2016.11.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7909718PMC
February 2017

Mesenchymal stem cells attenuate MRI-identifiable injury, protect white matter, and improve long-term functional outcomes after neonatal focal stroke in rats.

J Neurosci Res 2017 05 26;95(5):1225-1236. Epub 2016 Oct 26.

Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Cell therapy has emerged as a potential treatment for many neurodegenerative diseases including stroke and neonatal ischemic brain injury. Delayed intranasal administration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) after experimental hypoxia-ischemia and after a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) in neonatal rats has shown improvement in long-term functional outcomes, but the effects of MSCs on white matter injury (WMI) are insufficiently understood. In this study we used longitudinal T2-weighted (T2W) and diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to characterize chronic injury after tMCAO induced in postnatal day 10 (P10) rats and examined the effects of delayed MSC administration on WMI, axonal coverage, and long-term somatosensory function. We show unilateral injury- and region-dependent changes in diffusion fraction anisotropy 1 and 2 weeks after tMCAO that correspond to accumulation of degraded myelin basic protein, astrocytosis, and decreased axonal coverage. With the use of stringent T2W-based injury criteria at 72 hr after tMCAO to randomize neonatal rats to receive intranasal MSCs or vehicle, we show that a single MSC administration attenuates WMI and enhances somatosensory function 28 days after stroke. A positive correlation was found between MSC-enhanced white matter integrity and functional performance in injured neonatal rats. Collectively, these data indicate that the damage induced by tMCAO progresses over time and is halted by administration of MSCs. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jnr.23954DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5352529PMC
May 2017

Microglial Cells Prevent Hemorrhage in Neonatal Focal Arterial Stroke.

J Neurosci 2016 Mar;36(10):2881-93

Department of Neurology, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94158,

Perinatal stroke leads to significant morbidity and long-term neurological and cognitive deficits. The pathophysiological mechanisms of brain damage depend on brain maturation at the time of stroke. To understand whether microglial cells limit injury after neonatal stroke by preserving neurovascular integrity, we subjected postnatal day 7 (P7) rats depleted of microglial cells, rats with inhibited microglial TGFbr2/ALK5 signaling, and corresponding controls, to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO). Microglial depletion by intracerebral injection of liposome-encapsulated clodronate at P5 significantly reduced vessel coverage and triggered hemorrhages in injured regions 24 h after tMCAO. Lack of microglia did not alter expression or intracellular redistribution of several tight junction proteins, did not affect degradation of collagen IV induced by the tMCAO, but altered cell types producing TGFβ1 and the phosphorylation and intracellular distribution of SMAD2/3. Selective inhibition of TGFbr2/ALK5 signaling in microglia via intracerebral liposome-encapsulated SB-431542 delivery triggered hemorrhages after tMCAO, demonstrating that TGFβ1/TGFbr2/ALK5 signaling in microglia protects from hemorrhages. Consistent with observations in neonatal rats, depletion of microglia before tMCAO in P9 Cx3cr1(GFP/+)/Ccr2(RFP/+) mice exacerbated injury and induced hemorrhages at 24 h. The effects were independent of infiltration of Ccr2(RFP/+) monocytes into injured regions. Cumulatively, in two species, we show that microglial cells protect neonatal brain from hemorrhage after acute ischemic stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0140-15.2016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4783493PMC
March 2016

Lack of the scavenger receptor CD36 alters microglial phenotypes after neonatal stroke.

J Neurochem 2015 Nov 3;135(3):445-52. Epub 2015 Sep 3.

Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.

The stage of brain development at the time of stroke has a major impact on the pathophysiological mechanisms of ischemic damage, including the neuroinflammatory response. Microglial cells have been shown to contribute to acute and subchronic injury in adult stroke models, whereas in neonatal rodents we showed that microglial cells serve as endogenous neuroprotectants early following transient middle cerebral artery occlusion, limiting neuroinflammation and injury. In the neonate, microglial depletion or lack of the scavenger receptor CD36 exacerbates injury. In this study we asked if lack of CD36 affects microglial phenotypes after neonatal stroke. Using RT-PCR we characterized the patterns of gene expression in microglia isolated from injured regions following acute transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in postnatal day 10 mice and showed that expression of several pro-inflammatory genes, including Toll-like receptors, remains largely unaffected in activated microglia in injured regions. Using multiple biochemical assays we demonstrated that lack of CD36 alters several functions of microglia in acutely injured neonatal brain: it further enhances accumulation of the chemokine MCP-1, affects the number of CD11b(+) /CD45(+) cells, along with protein expression of its co-receptor, Toll-like receptor 2, but does not affect accumulation of superoxide in microglia or the cytokines TNFα and IL-1β in injured regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.13239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4844456PMC
November 2015

Acute and chronic vascular responses to experimental focal arterial stroke in the neonate rat.

Transl Stroke Res 2013 Apr;4(2):179-88

Neonatal Brain Disorders Center. Department of Neurology. University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA.

The presence of active developmental angiogenesis and vascular outgrowth in the postnatal brain may differentially affect vascular responses to stroke in newborns and adults, but very little is known about the dynamics of vascular injury and re-growth after stroke during the neonatal period. In this study we used a clinically relevant animal model of ischemic arterial stroke in neonate rats, a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in postnatal day 7 (P7), to characterize the effects of injury on vascular density and angiogenesis from acute through the chronic phase. A marked vessel degeneration and suppressed endothelial cell proliferation occur in the ischemic regions early after neonatal stroke. In contrast to what has been described in adult animals, endothelial cell proliferation and vascular density are not increased in the peri-ischemic regions during the first week after MCAO in neonates. By two weeks after injury, endothelial cell proliferation is increased in the cortical peri-ischemic region but these changes are not accompanied by an increased vascular density. Suppressed angiogenesis in injured postnatal brain that we report may limit recovery after neonatal stroke. Thus, enhancement of angiogenesis after neonatal stroke may be a promising strategy for the long-term recovery of the affected newborns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12975-012-0214-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665524PMC
April 2013

Genetic deletion of CD36 enhances injury after acute neonatal stroke.

Ann Neurol 2012 Dec;72(6):961-70

Department of Neurology, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco,CA 94158, USA.

Objective: The scavenger receptor CD36 is injurious in acute experimental focal stroke and neurodegenerative diseases in the adult. We investigated the effects of genetic deletion of CD36 (CD36ko) on acute injury, and oxidative and inflammatory signaling after neonatal stroke.

Methods: Postnatal day 9 CD36ko and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Injury, phagocytosis of dying cells, and CD36 inflammatory signaling were determined.

Results: While the volume of tissue at risk by diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging during MCAO was similar in neonatal CD36ko and WT mice, by 24 hours after reperfusion, injury was more severe in CD36ko and was associated with increased caspase-3 cleavage and reduced engulfment of neurons expressing cleaved caspase-3 by activated microglia. No significant superoxide generation was observed in activated microglia in injured WT, whereas increased superoxide production in vessels and nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation induced by MCAO were unaffected by lack of CD36. Lyn expression was higher in injured CD36ko, and cell type-specific patterns of Lyn expression were altered; Lyn was expressed in endothelial cells and microglia in WT but predominantly in dying neurons in CD36ko.

Interpretation: Lack of CD36 results in poorer short-term outcome from neonatal focal stroke due to lack of attenuation of NF-κB-mediated inflammation and diminished removal of apoptotic neuronal debris. Although inhibition of CD36 does not seem to be a good therapeutic target for protection after acute neonatal stroke, as it is after adult stroke, seeking better understanding of CD36 signaling in particular cell populations may reveal important therapeutic targets for neonatal stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.23727DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3539222PMC
December 2012

Blood-brain barrier permeability is increased after acute adult stroke but not neonatal stroke in the rat.

J Neurosci 2012 Jul;32(28):9588-600

Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0633, USA.

The immaturity of the CNS at birth greatly affects injury after stroke but the contribution of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to the differential response to stroke in adults and neonates is poorly understood. We asked whether the structure and function of the BBB is disrupted differently in neonatal and adult rats by transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. In adult rats, albumin leakage into injured regions was markedly increased during 2-24 h reperfusion but leakage remained low in the neonates. Functional assays employing intravascular tracers in the neonates showed that BBB permeability to both large (70 kDa dextran) and small (3 kDa dextran), gadolinium (III)-diethyltriaminepentaacetic acid tracers remained largely undisturbed 24 h after reperfusion. The profoundly different functional integrity of the BBB was associated with the largely nonoverlapping patterns of regulated genes in endothelial cells purified from injured and uninjured adult and neonatal brain at 24 h (endothelial transcriptome, 31,042 total probe sets). Within significantly regulated 1266 probe sets in injured adults and 361 probe sets in neonates, changes in the gene expression of the basal lamina components, adhesion molecules, the tight junction protein occludin, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 were among the key differences. The protein expression of collagen-IV, laminin, claudin-5, occludin, and zonula occludens protein 1 was also better preserved in neonatal rats. Neutrophil infiltration remained low in acutely injured neonates but neutralization of cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-1 in the systemic circulation enhanced neutrophil infiltration, BBB permeability, and injury. The markedly more integrant BBB in neonatal brain than in adult brain after acute stroke may have major implications for the treatment of neonatal stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5977-11.2012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3539825PMC
July 2012

Microglial cells contribute to endogenous brain defenses after acute neonatal focal stroke.

J Neurosci 2011 Sep;31(36):12992-3001

Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0663, USA.

Macrophages are viewed as amplifiers of ischemic brain injury, but the origin of injury-producing macrophages is poorly defined. The role of resident brain macrophages-microglial cells-in stroke remains controversial. To determine whether microglial cells exert injurious effects after neonatal focal stroke, we selectively depleted these cells with intracerebral injection of liposome-encapsulated clodronate before transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in postnatal day 7 rats. Phagocytosis of apoptotic neurons by activated microglia was poor in animals with unmanipulated microglia, and depletion of these cells did not increase the number of apoptotic neurons. Lack of microglia increased the brain levels of several cytokines and chemokines already elevated by ischemia-reperfusion, and also increased the severity and volume of injury, suggesting that microglial cells contribute to endogenous protection during the subacute injury phase. Then, to determine whether accumulation of reactive oxygen species in microglia adversely affects phagocytosis of dying neurons and contributes to injury, we delivered reduced glutathione (GSH) into microglia, again using liposomes. Remarkably, pharmacologically increased intracellular GSH concentrations in microglia induced superoxide accumulation in lipid rafts in these cells, further increased the brain levels of macrophage chemoattractants, and exacerbated injury. Together, these data show that microglia are part of the endogenous defense mechanisms and that, while antioxidants can protect the injured neonatal brain, high levels of reducing equivalents in activated microglia, GSH, trigger superoxide production, favor the reorganization of lipids, amplify local inflammation and exacerbate injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2102-11.2011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3539822PMC
September 2011

Early diffusion-weighted MRI as a predictor of caspase-3 activation after hypoxic-ischemic insult in neonatal rodents.

Stroke 2008 Jun 17;39(6):1862-8. Epub 2008 Apr 17.

University California-San Francisco, Department of Neurology, Box 0663, 521 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94143-0663, USA.

Background And Purpose: Neonatal encephalopathy in human babies is a serious condition associated with permanent neurological deficits. Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) is increasingly used for early diagnosis of brain injury in human babies. The relationship between the presence of DWI abnormalities and cellular injury, including apoptosis, during the neonatal period are not well understood. We asked whether the extent of injury depicted on DWI can predict the presence of caspase-3 activation, a quantitative marker of apoptotic injury, after hypoxia-ischemia (H-I) in postnatal day 7 rats.

Methods: Injury volume was determined by DWI at 2 hours, 24 hours, and 7 days after H-I and compared with histology. Caspase-3 activation and microgliosis were determined at 24 hours post-H-I.

Results: DWI-defined lesions (eg, decreased apparent diffusion coefficient) at 24 hours post-H-I correlated with a major increase in caspase-3 activity in the injured hemisphere and predicted injury. A modest but significant increase in caspase-3 activity occurred in the cortex of rats that had no apparent diffusion coefficient decrease in the injured hemisphere but had unilaterally enlarged regions of high apparent diffusion coefficient at the ipsilateral ventricle/white matter interface. Caspase-3 activity was similar in both hemispheres in pups with unchanged DWI.

Conclusions: Abnormal DWI signal at 24 hours post-H-I is predictive of caspase-3 activation and can be used as an indicator that injury involving an apoptotic-like mechanism is present. Our data also suggest that the presence of an enlarged unilateral region with high apparent diffusion coefficient at the ventricle/white matter interface without significant apparent diffusion coefficient decrease in the cortex is a sign of modest caspase-3 activation after H-I.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.107.506352DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5291124PMC
June 2008

Activated Src kinases interact with the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor after neonatal brain ischemia.

Ann Neurol 2008 May;63(5):632-41

Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0663, USA.

Objective: Neonatal stroke is associated with the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-mediated excitotoxic brain injury. Src family kinases (SFKs) are considered to be the molecular hub for NMDAR regulation. We determined the relationship between SFKs activation and NMDAR tyrosine phosphorylation after neonatal hypoxia-ischemia (HI) and investigated the neuroprotective potential of a selective SFKs inhibitor, PP2 (4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl) pyrazolo [3, 4-d] pyramidine), against neonatal brain ischemic injury.

Methods: The Rice-Vannucci model was adapted for neonatal HI injury in postnatal day 7 CD1 mice. SFKs activity in the postsynaptic densities was measured by Western blot. NMDAR tyrosine phosphorylation and their association with SFKs were determined by coimmunoprecipitation. Brains from animals treated with PP2 or its inactive analog, PP3, were examined histologically with cresyl violet and iron stain to assess the degree of damage.

Results: Neonatal HI resulted in a rapid and transient increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of NMDAR subunits NR2A and NR2B. This upregulation correlated with the enhanced association of Fyn and Src with NR2A and NR2B. SFKs were activated in the postsynaptic densities after HI. Inhibition of SFKs with PP2 attenuated brain injury after neonatal HI, whereas PP3 did not protect the brain from the HI insult.

Interpretation: SFKs may play an important role in NMDAR-mediated excitotoxicity and downstream events leading to neuronal death after neonatal HI. Inhibition of SFKs may provide protection against neonatal stroke. Rather than blockade of NMDAR after HI in the developing brain, it may be safer and more beneficial to manipulate components of the NMDAR signaling complex at the postsynaptic density.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.21365DOI Listing
May 2008
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