Abstractvon Willebrand factor (VWF) plays an important role in ischemic stroke. However, the exact mechanism by which VWF mediates progression of ischemic stroke brain damage is not completely understood. Using flow cytometric analysis of single cell suspensions prepared from brain tissue and immunohistochemistry, we investigated the potential inflammatory mechanisms by which VWF contributes to ischemic stroke brain damage in a mouse model of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. Twenty-four hours after stroke, flow cytometric analysis of brain tissue revealed that overall white blood cell recruitment in the ipsilesional brain hemisphere of VWF KO mice was 2 times lower than WT mice. More detailed analysis showed a specific reduction of proinflammatory monocytes, neutrophils and T-cells in the ischemic brain of VWF KO mice compared to WT mice. Interestingly, histological analysis revealed a substantial number of neutrophils and T-cells still within the microcirculation of the stroke brain, potentially contributing to the no-reflow phenomenon. Specific therapeutic targeting of the VWF A1 domain in WT mice resulted in reduced immune cell numbers in the affected brain and protected mice from ischemic stroke brain damage. More specifically, recruitment of proinflammatory monocytes was reduced two-fold, neutrophil recruitment was reduced five-fold and T-cell recruitment was reduced two-fold in mice treated with a VWF A1-targeting nanobody compared to mice receiving a control nanobody. In conclusion, our data identify a potential role for VWF in the recruitment of proinflammatory monocytes, neutrophils and T-cells to the ischemic brain via a mechanism that is mediated by its A1 domain.
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Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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