KLF11 mediates PPARγ cerebrovascular protection in ischaemic stroke

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Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) is emerging as a major regulator in neurological diseases. However, the role of (PPARγ) and its co-regulators in cerebrovascular endothelial dysfunction after stroke is unclear. Here, we have demonstrated that (PPARγ) activation by pioglitazone significantly inhibited both oxygen–glucose deprivation-induced cerebral vascular endothelial cell death and middle cerebral artery occlusion-triggered cerebrovascular damage. Consistent with this finding, selective (PPARγ) genetic deletion in vascular endothelial cells resulted in increased cerebrovascular permeability and brain infarction in mice after focal ischaemia. Moreover, we screened for (PPARγ) co-regulators using a genome-wide and high-throughput co-activation system and revealed KLF11 as a novel (PPARγ) co-regulator, which interacted with (PPARγ) and regulated its function in mouse cerebral vascular endothelial cell cultures. Interestingly, KLF11 was also found as a direct transcriptional target of (PPARγ). Furthermore, KLF11 genetic deficiency effectively abolished pioglitazone cytoprotection in mouse cerebral vascular endothelial cell cultures after oxygen–glucose deprivation, as well as pioglitazone-mediated cerebrovascular protection in a mouse middle cerebral artery occlusion model. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that KLF11 enhanced (PPARγ) transcriptional suppression of the pro-apoptotic microRNA-15a (miR-15a) gene, resulting in endothelial protection in cerebral vascular endothelial cell cultures and cerebral microvasculature after ischaemic stimuli. Taken together, our data demonstrate that recruitment of KLF11 as a novel (PPARγ) co-regulator plays a critical role in the cerebrovascular protection after ischaemic insults. It is anticipated that elucidating the coordinated actions of KLF11 and (PPARγ) will provide new insights into understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying (PPARγ) function in the cerebral vasculature and help to develop a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of stroke.

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