Proliferating Reactive Astrocytes Are Regulated by Notch-1 in the Peri-Infarct Area After Stroke
Background and Purpose—The formation of reactive astrocytes is common after central nervous system injuries such as stroke. However, the signaling pathway(s) that control astrocyte formation and functions are poorly defined. We assess the effects of Notch 1 signaling in peri-infarct-reactive astrocytes after stroke.
Methods—We examined reactive astrocyte formation in the peri-infarct area 3 days after distal middle cerebral artery occlusion with or without γ-secretase inhibitor treatment. To directly study the effects of inhibiting a γ-secretase cleavage target in reactive astrocytes, we generated glial fibrillary acidic protein-CreER™:Notch 1 conditional knockout mice.
Results—Gamma-secretase inhibitor treatment after stroke decreased the number of proliferative glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive reactive astrocytes and RC2-positive reactive astrocytes directly adjacent to the infarct core. The decrease in reactive astrocytes correlated with an increased number of CD45-positive cells that invaded into the peri-infarct area. To study the influence of reactive astrocytes on immune cell invasion, ex vivo immune cell invasion assays were performed. We found that a γ-secretase-mediated pathway in astrocytes affected Jurkat cell invasion. After tamoxifen treatment, glial fibrillary acidic protein-CreER™:Notch 1 conditional knockout mice had a significantly decreased number of proliferating reactive astrocytes and RC2-positive reactive astrocytes. Tamoxifen treatment also led to an increased number of CD45-positive cells that invaded the peri-infarct area.
Conclusions—Our results demonstrate that proliferating and RC2-positive reactive astrocytes are regulated by Notch 1 signal transduction and control immune cell invasion after stroke.
- animal models
- basic science
- brain infarction
- brain ischemia
- cerebral infarct
- focal ischemia
- gene regulation
- glial cells
- Received April 13, 2011.
- Accepted May 3, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.