Blocking of α4 Integrin Does Not Protect From Acute Ischemic Stroke in Mice
Background and Purpose—T lymphocytes have recently been identified as key mediators of tissue damage in ischemic stroke. The interaction between very late antigen-4 (VLA-4) and vascular adhesion molecule-1 is crucial for the transvascular egress of T lymphocytes, and inhibition of this interaction by specific antibodies is a powerful strategy to combat autoimmune neuroinflammation. However, whether pharmacological blocking of T-lymphocyte trafficking is also protective during brain ischemia is still unclear. We investigated the efficacy of a monoclonal antibody directed against VLA-4 in mouse models of ischemic stroke.
Methods—Transient and permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion was induced in male C57Bl/6 mice. Animals treated with a monoclonal anti-CD49d antibody (300 μg) 24 hours before or 3 hours after the onset of cerebral ischemia and stroke outcome, including infarct size, functional status, and mortality, were assessed between day 1 and day 7. The numbers of immune cells invading the ischemic brain were determined by immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry.
Results—Blocking of VLA-4 significantly reduced the invasion of T lymphocytes and neutrophils on day 5 after middle cerebral artery occlusion and inhibited the upregulation of vascular adhesion molecule-1. However, the anti-CD49d antibody failed to influence stroke outcome positively irrespective of the model or the time point investigated.
Conclusions—Pharmacological inhibition of the VLA-4/vascular adhesion molecule-1 axis in experimental stroke was ineffective in our hands. Our results cast doubt on the effectiveness of anti-CD49d as a stroke treatment. Further translational studies should be performed before testing anti–VLA-4 antibodies in patients with stroke.
- infarction, middle cerebral artery
- vascular cell adhesion molecule-1
- very late antigen-4
- Received January 28, 2014.
- Revision received February 14, 2014.
- Accepted February 24, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.