Combination Treatment With N-Acetyl-Seryl-Aspartyl-Lysyl-Proline and Tissue Plasminogen Activator Provides Potent Neuroprotection in Rats After Stroke
Background and Purpose—N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline (AcSDKP), an endogenously produced circulating peptide in humans and rodents, exerts anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective activities in various cardiovascular diseases.
Methods—The present study evaluated the neuroprotective effect of AcSDKP alone and in combination with thrombolytic therapy in a rat model of embolic focal cerebral ischemia.
Results—We found that treatment with AcSDKP alone at 1 hour or the combination treatment with AcSDKP and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) at 4 hours after stroke onset substantially increased AcSDKP levels in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid and robustly reduced infarct volume and neurological deficits, without increasing the incidence of brain hemorrhage compared with ischemic rats treated with saline, AcSDKP alone at 4 hours, and tPA alone at 4 hours. Moreover, the combination treatment considerably reduced the density of nuclear transcription factor-κB (NF-κB), transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) positive cerebral blood vessels in the ischemic brain, all of which were associated with reduced microvascular fibrin extravasation and platelet accumulation compared with tPA monotherapy. In vitro, AcSDKP blocked fibrin-elevated TGF-β1, PAI-1, and NF-κB proteins in primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells.
Conclusions—Our data indicate that AcSDKP passes the blood–brain barrier, and that treatment of acute stroke with AcSDKP either alone at 1 hour or in combination with tPA at 4 hours of the onset of stroke is effective to reduce ischemic cell damage in a rat model of embolic stroke. Inactivation of TGF-β and NF-κB signaling by AcSDKP in the neurovascular unit may underlie the neuroprotective effect of AcSDKP.
- Received December 4, 2013.
- Accepted January 16, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.