Circulating complement factors are activated by tissue damage and contribute to acute brain injury. The deposition of MBL (mannose-binding lectin), one of the initiators of the lectin complement pathway, on the cerebral endothelium activated by ischemia is a major pathogenic event leading to brain injury. The molecular mechanisms through which MBL influences outcome after ischemia are not understood yet.Approach and Results—
Here we show that MBL-deficient (MBL−/−) mice subjected to cerebral ischemia display better flow recovery and less plasma extravasation in the brain than wild-type mice, as assessed by in vivo 2-photon microscopy. This results in reduced vascular dysfunction as shown by the shift from a pro- to an anti-inflammatory vascular phenotype associated with MBL deficiency. We also show that platelets directly bind MBL and that platelets from MBL−/− mice have reduced inflammatory phenotype as indicated by reduced IL-1α (interleukin-1α) content, as early as 6 hours after ischemia. Cultured human brain endothelial cells subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation and exposed to platelets from MBL−/− mice present less cell death and lower CXCL1 (chemokine [C-X-C motif] ligand 1) release (downstream to IL-1α) than those exposed to wild-type platelets. In turn, MBL deposition on ischemic vessels significantly decreases after ischemia in mice treated with IL-1 receptor antagonist compared with controls, indicating a reciprocal interplay between MBL and IL-1α facilitating endothelial damage.Conclusions—
We propose MBL as a hub of pathogenic vascular events. It acts as an early trigger of platelet IL-1α release, which in turn favors MBL deposition on ischemic vessels promoting an endothelial pro-inflammatory phenotype.