Inhibition of CD147 (Cluster of Differentiation 147) Ameliorates Acute Ischemic Stroke in Mice by Reducing Thromboinflammation

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Background and Purpose—Inflammation and thrombosis currently are recognized as critical contributors to the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke. CD147 (cluster of differentiation 147), also known as extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer, can function as a key mediator of inflammatory and immune responses. CD147 expression is increased in the brain after cerebral ischemia, but its role in the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke remains unknown. In this study, we show that CD147 acts as a key player in ischemic stroke by driving thrombotic and inflammatory responses.Methods—Focal cerebral ischemia was induced in C57BL/6 mice by a 60-minute transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Animals were treated with anti-CD147 function–blocking antibody (αCD147) or isotype control antibody. Blood–brain barrier permeability, thrombus formation, and microvascular patency were assessed 24 hours after ischemia. Infarct size, neurological deficits, and inflammatory cells invaded in the brain were assessed 72 hours after ischemia.Results—CD147 expression was rapidly increased in ischemic brain endothelium after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Inhibition of CD147 reduced infarct size and improved functional outcome on day 3 after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. The neuroprotective effects were associated with (1) prevented blood–brain barrier damage, (2) decreased intravascular fibrin and platelet deposition, which in turn reduced thrombosis and increased cerebral perfusion, and (3) reduced brain inflammatory cell infiltration. The underlying mechanism may include reduced NF-κB (nuclear factor κB) activation, MMP-9 (matrix metalloproteinase-9) activity, and PAI-1 (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) expression in brain microvascular endothelial cells.Conclusions—Inhibition of CD147 ameliorates acute ischemic stroke by reducing thromboinflammation. CD147 might represent a novel and promising therapeutic target for ischemic stroke and possibly other thromboinflammatory disorders.

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