Stroke is a leading cause of disability and currently lacks effective therapy enabling long-term functional recovery
Wattananit, S; Tornero, D; Graubardt, N; Memanishvili, T; Monni, E; Tatarishvili, J; Miskinyte, G; Ge, RM; Ahlenius, H; Lindvall, O; Schwartz, M; Kokaia, Z
Stroke is a leading cause of disability and currently lacks effective therapy enabling long-term functional recovery. Ischemic brain injury causes local inflammation, which involves both activated resident microglia and infiltrating immune cells, including monocytes. Monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) exhibit a high degree of functional plasticity. Here, we determined the role of MDMs in long-term spontaneous functional recovery after middle cerebral artery occlusion in mice. Analyses by flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry revealed that monocytes home to the stroke-injured hemisphere., and that infiltration peaks 3 d after stroke. At day 7, half of the infiltrating MDMs exhibited a bias toward a proinflammatory phenotype and the other half toward an anti-inflammatory phenotype, but during the subsequent 2 weeks, MDMs with an anti-inflammatory phenotype dominated. Blocking monocyte recruitment using the anti-CCR2 antibody MC-21 during the first week after stroke abolished long-term behavioral recovery, as determined in corridor and staircase tests, and drastically decreased tissue expression of anti-inflammatory genes, including TGFβ, CD163, and Ym1. Our results show that spontaneously recruited monocytes to the injured brain early after the insult contribute to long-term functional recovery after stroke.
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