Complement-Dependent Synaptic Uptake and Cognitive Decline after Stroke and Reperfusion Therapy.
Despite the success of reperfusion therapy in significantly reducing the extent of infarct expansion after stroke, the effect of revascularization on poststroke neuroinflammation and the role of anti-inflammatory strategies in postreperfusion era are yet to be explored. Here, we investigate whether the neuroinflammatory response may still contribute to neurologic deficits after reperfused stroke by using targeted complement inhibition to suppress poststroke neuroinflammation in mice with or without concurrent reperfusion therapy. Complement inhibition was achieved using B4Crry, an injury site-targeted inhibitor of C3 activation. Following embolic stroke in male C57bl/6 mice, thrombolysis using tissue-plasminogen activator (t-PA) reduced injury and improved motor deficits, but did not improve cognitive outcomes. After both reperfused and non-reperfused stroke, complement activation and opsonization of hippocampal synapses directed ongoing microglia-dependent phagocytosis of synapses for at least 30 d after stroke, leading to a loss of synaptic density that was associated with cognitive decline. B4Crry treatment, alone or in combination with tPA, limited perilesional complement deposition, reduced microgliosis and synaptic uptake, and improved cognitive outcome without affecting regenerative responses. Furthermore, complement inhibition improved the safety, efficacy, and treatment window of reperfusion therapy with t-PA by limiting hemorrhagic transformation. This work thus demonstrates that poststroke neuroinflammation contributes to hemorrhagic transformation and progression of neurodegenerative responses in the brain even following early and successful revascularization.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This study addresses two major challenges facing the treatment of stroke in the era of reperfusion therapy: hemorrhagic transformation and the disconnect between successful revascularization and functional outcomes. We studied how complement-dependent neuroinflammation drives the pathophysiology behind these challenges using a translationally relevant strategy. Complement inhibition was achieved using B4Crry, an injury site-targeted inhibitor of C3 activation. Following embolic stroke, pharmacological thrombolysis limited infarct size, but did not prevent complement activation. In reperfused and non-reperfused stroke, complement activation and opsonization of hippocampal synapses resulted in synaptic phagocytosis and subsequent cognitive decline. B4Crry treatment limited perilesional complement deposition, reduced microgliosis and synaptic uptake, and improved cognitive outcomes. Complement inhibition also improved the safety, efficacy, and treatment window of thrombolytic therapy.
Alawieh, AM; Langley, EF; Feng, W; Spiotta, AM; Tomlinson, S
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