CD18-Mediated Neutrophil Recruitment Contributes to the Pathogenesis of Reperfused but Not Nonreperfused Stroke

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Background and PurposeNeutrophil (PMN) recruitment mediated by increased expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression (ICAM-1, CD54) in the cerebral microvasculature contributes to the pathogenesis of tissue injury in stroke. However, studies using blocking antibodies against the common beta2-integrin subunit on the PMN, the counterligand for ICAM-1 (CD18), have demonstrated equivocal efficacy. The current study tested the hypothesis that mice deficient in CD18 would be protected in the setting of reperfused but not nonreperfused stroke.MethodsTwo groups of mice were studied, those whose PMNs could express CD18 (CD18 +/+) and those mice hypomorphic for the CD-18 gene (CD18 -/-). PMNs obtained from CD18 -/- or CD18 +/+ mice were fluorescently labeled and tested for binding to murine brain endothelial monolayers. Using a murine model of focal cerebral ischemia in which an occluding suture placed in the middle cerebral artery (MCA) is removed after 45 minutes (transient ischemia, reperfused stroke) or left in place (permanent ischemia, nonreperfused stroke), cerebral infarct volumes (% ipsilateral hemisphere by TTC staining), cerebral blood flow (CBF, % contralateral hemisphere by laser-Doppler flowmetry), and survival (%) were examined 24 hours after the initial ischemic event. Adoptive transfer studies used111 In-labeled PMNs (from either CD18 +/+ or CD18 -/- mice) to examine the relative accumulation of PMNs in the ischemic region.ResultsPMNs obtained from CD18 -/- mice exhibit reduced adhesivity (compared with CD18 +/+ PMNs) for both quiescent and cytokine-activated endothelial monolayers. CD18 -/- mice (n=14) subjected to transient focal cerebral ischemia demonstrated a 53% decrease in infarct volumes versus CD18 +/+ mice (n=26, P<0.05), improved penumbral CBF at 24 hours (1.8-fold, P=0.02), and a 3.7-fold decrease in mortality (P=0.02). However, when CD18 -/- mice (n=12) were subjected to permanent focal cerebral ischemia, no differences were noted in infarct volume, mortality, or CBF versus similarly treated CD18 +/+ mice (n=10). There was a greater accumulation of CD18 +/+ PMNs in the ischemic zone of CD18 +/+ animals than CD18 -/- animals subjected to reperfused stroke (82% increase, P=0.02), although there was no difference between groups when subjected to permanent MCA occlusion.ConclusionsDeficiency for the CD18 gene confers cerebral protection in a murine model of reperfused stroke, but this benefit does not extend to CD18-deficient animals subjected to permanent MCA occlusion. These data suggest that anti-PMN strategies should be targeted to reperfused stroke and may perhaps be used in conjunction with thrombolytic therapy that establishes reperfusion. (Stroke. 1999;30:1110-1117.)

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