The Role of Arginase 1 in Post-Stroke Immunosuppression and Ischemic Stroke Severity

Document Type


Publication Date



A balanced immune system response plays an important role in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) recovery. Our laboratory has previously identified several immune-related genes, including arginase 1 (ARG1), with altered expression in human AIS patients. The neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) may be a marker of the degree of immune dysregulation following AIS; however, the molecular mechanisms that may mediate the NLR are unknown. The purpose of this study was to (1) examine the relationship between ARG1, NLR, and AIS severity and (2) to utilize principal component analysis (PCA) to statistically model multiple gene expression changes following AIS. AIS patients and stroke-free control subjects were recruited, and blood samples were collected from AIS patients within 24 h of stroke symptom onset. White blood cell differentials were obtained at this time to calculate the NLR. Gene expression was measured using real-time PCR. PCA with varimax rotation was used to develop composite variables consisting of a five-gene profile. ARG1 was positively correlated with NLR (r = 0.57, p = 0.003), neutrophil count (r = 0.526, p = 0.007), NIHSS (r = 0.607, p = 0.001), and infarct volume (r = 0.27, p = 0.051). PCA identified three principal components that explain 84.4 % of variation in the original patient gene dataset comprised of ARG1, LY96, MMP9, s100a12, and PC1 was a significant explanatory variable for NIHSS (p < 0.001) and NLR (p = 0.005). Our study suggests a novel relationship between ARG1, NLR, and stroke severity, and the NLR is an underutilized clinically available biomarker to monitor the post-stroke immune response.