The peripheral immune system plays a critical role in aging and in the response to brain injury. Emerging data suggest inflammatory responses are exacerbated in older animals following ischemic stroke; however, our understanding of these age-related changes is poor. In this work, we demonstrate marked differences in the composition of circulating and infiltrating leukocytes recruited to the ischemic brain of old male mice after stroke compared to young male mice. Blood neutrophilia and neutrophil invasion into the brain were increased in aged animals. Relative to infiltrating monocyte populations, brain-invading neutrophils had reduced phagocytic potential, and produced higher levels of reactive oxygen species and extracellular matrix-degrading enzymes (i.e., MMP-9), which were further exacerbated with age. Hemorrhagic transformation was more pronounced in aged versus young mice relative to infarct size. High numbers of myeloperoxidase-positive neutrophils were found in postmortem human brain samples of old (> 71 years) acute ischemic stroke subjects compared to non-ischemic controls. Many of these neutrophils were found in the brain parenchyma. A large proportion of these neutrophils expressed MMP-9 and positively correlated with hemorrhage and hyperemia. MMP-9 expression and hemorrhagic transformation after stroke increased with age. These changes in the myeloid response to stroke with age led us to hypothesize that the bone marrow response to stroke is altered with age, which could be important for the development of effective therapies targeting the immune response. We generated heterochronic bone marrow chimeras as a tool to determine the contribution of peripheral immune senescence to age- and stroke-induced inflammation. Old hosts that received young bone marrow (i.e., Young → Old) had attenuation of age-related reductions in bFGF and VEGF and showed improved locomotor activity and gait dynamics compared to isochronic (Old → Old) controls. Microglia in young heterochronic mice (Old → Young) developed a senescent-like phenotype. After stroke, aged animals reconstituted with young marrow had reduced behavioral deficits compared to isochronic controls, and had significantly fewer brain-infiltrating neutrophils. Increased rates of hemorrhagic transformation were seen in young mice reconstituted with aged bone marrow. This work suggests that age alters the immunological response to stroke, and that this can be reversed by manipulation of the peripheral immune cells in the bone marrow. Copyright 2018, The Author(s).
Chauhan, A.; Hudobenko, J.; Al Mamun, A. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018)
Background: Activation of transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) occurs after stroke and leads to an exacerbation of brain injury. TAK1 is involved in innate and adaptive immune responses, but it has divergent inflammatory effects that are dependent on the cell type in which it is activated. There is a robust infiltration of myeloid cells after stroke; however, the contribution of myeloid TAK1 to cerebral ischemia is currently unknown. We hypothesized that myeloid-specific deletion of TAK1 would protect against ischemic brain injury. Methods: Myeloid TAK1ΔM and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Brain-infiltrating and splenic immune cells were evaluated at 3 days after stroke. Assessment of infarct size and behavioral deficits were performed on days 3 and 7 post-stroke. Results:
Infarcts were significantly smaller in TAK1ΔM mice (p < 0.01), and behavioral deficits were less severe despite equivalent reduction in cerebral blood flow. Flow cytometry demonstrated an increase in the frequency of splenic monocytes and neutrophils (p < 0.05) and a decrease in splenic CD3+ T (p < 0.01) and CD19+ B (p = 0.06) cells in TAK1ΔM mice compared to WT at baseline. Three days after stroke, a significant increase in the number of brain-infiltrating immune cell was observed in both TAK1ΔM (p < 0.05) and WT (p < 0.001) mice compared to their respective shams. However, there was a significant decrease in the infiltrating CD45hi immune cell counts (p < 0.05), with a pronounced reduction in infiltrating monocytes (p < 0.001) in TAK1ΔM after stroke compared to WT stroke mice. Additionally, a significant reduction in CD49d+ monocytes was seen in the brains of TAK1ΔM stroke mice compared to wild-type mice. Importantly, TAK1ΔM MCAo mice had smaller infarcts and improved behavioral outcomes at day 7 post-stroke. Conclusion: Our results showed that deletion of myeloid TAK1 resulted in smaller infarcts and improved functional outcomes at the peak of inflammation (day 3) and a reduction in brain-infiltrating immune cells that were primarily monocytes. Myeloid TAK1 deletion was also protective at 7 days post MCAo, reflecting a detrimental role of myeloid TAK1 in the progression of ischemic injury. Copyright 2018 The Author(s).
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