Inhibition of PECAM-1 Significantly Delays Leukocyte Extravasation into the Subcortex Post-Stroke

Erika Arias, Neil Nadkarni, Raymond Fang, Maureen Haynes, Ayush Batra, William Muller, David Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Current therapies for ischemic stroke focus on reperfusion but do not address the acute inflammatory response that results in significant reperfusion injury. To advance future therapies, a thorough understanding of the precise spatiotemporal underpinnings of leukocyte extravasation and infiltration is necessary. We describe the evolution of the inflammatory response in a mouse transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) stroke model at several time points after reperfusion and the modulation of this response with PECAM blockade. METHODS: The transient Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion model (90 minutes of ischemia followed by reperfusion) was used to simulate large vessel occlusion stroke and recanalization. We used wide field and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy to examine the exact distribution of neutrophils with close examination of the leukocyte position with regard to the brain vasculature and the perivascular space. Flow cytometry of single cell suspensions was used to confirm cell identity at different time points post-stroke. RESULTS: Large ischemic strokes involving both the subcortex and cortex (over 20% of the ischemic hemisphere) were induced in mice. At 12 and 24 hours, leukocyte recruitment and extravasation was primarily localized to the cortical surface. This contrasts with other organs where there is considerable migration of neutrophils deep into the inflamed tissue by 24 hours. Flow cytometry showed at 24 hours a majority of leukocytes were neutrophils. Over 48 to 72 hours, leukocytes were increasingly found deeper into the subcortex. Throughout the infarct (determined with triphenyl tetrazolium chloride staining), leukocyte recruitment was not uniform but rather organized in clusters. Disrupting leukocyte diapedesis with PECAM function-blocking monoclonal antibody restricted leukocytes to within 500 microns of the surface when compared to control; and this was still evident at 72 hours (n=3 mice per group, p<0.01, Control 46% ± 4.0 %; PECAM-1 Ab 62% ± 5.0%). High-resolution wide-field microscopy confirmed inhibition of TEM by PECAM-1 blockade at 24 hours. Flow cytometry showed approximately equal numbers of monocytes and neutrophils at 72 hours. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that leukocyte infiltration into a stroke evolves over several days following reperfusion. The use of PECAM blockade modulates the natural progression of leukocytes into the infarcted stroke bed. A better understanding of leukocyte spatiotemporal infiltration and its regulators could help inform the next generation of therapeutic interventions.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology


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