Neuroprotection and vasculoprotection using genetically targeted protease-ligands.


Department of Neurology, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, 127 S San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048, United States. Electronic address: [Email]


Thrombin and activated protein C (APC) are known coagulation factors that exhibit profound effects in brain by acting on the protease activated receptor (PAR). The wild type (WT) proteases appear to impact cell survival powerfully, and therapeutic forms of APC are under development. Engineered recombinant thrombin or APC were designed to separate their procoagulant or anticoagulant effects from their cytoprotective properties. We measured vascular disruption and neuronal degeneration after a standard rodent filament stroke model. For comparison to a robust anticoagulant, we used a GpIIb/IIIa inhibitor, GR144053. During 2 h MCAo both WT murine APC and its mutant, 5A-APC, significantly decreased neuronal death 30 min after reperfusion. During 4 h MCAo, only 5A-APC significantly protected neurons but both WT-APC and 5A-APC exacerbated vascular disruption during 4 h MCAo. Human APC mutants appeared to reduce 24 h neuronal injury significantly when given after 2 h delay after MCAo. In contrast, 24 h vascular damage was worsened by high doses of WT and mutant APCs, although only statistically significantly for high dose 3K3A-APC. Mutated thrombin worsened vascular damage significantly without affecting neuron damage. GR144053 failed to ameliorate vascular disruption or neuronal injury despite significant anticoagulation. Differential effects on neurons and the vasculature were demonstrated using wild-type and mutated proteases. The mutants murine 3K3A-APC and 5A-APC protected neurons in this rodent model but in high doses worsened vascular leakage. Cytoactive effects of plasma proteases may be separated from their coagulation effects. Further studies should explore impact of dose and timing on cytoactive and vasculoactive properties of these drugs.


APC,Neurovascular unit,PAR-1,Stroke,Thrombin,

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