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School of Medicine


Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology


Acute stroke causes complex, pathological, and systemic responses that have not been treatable by any single medication. In this study, using a murine transient middle cerebral artery occlusion stroke model, a novel therapeutic strategy is proposed, where blood replacement (BR) robustly reduces infarctions and improves neurological deficits in mice. Our analyses of immune cell subsets suggest that BR therapy substantially decreases neutrophils in blood following a stroke. Electrochemiluminescence detection demonstrates that BR therapy reduces cytokine storm in plasma and ELISA demonstrates reduced levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in the plasma and brains at different time points post-stroke. Further, we have demonstrated that the addition of MMP-9 to the blood diminishes the protective effect of the BR therapy. Our study is the first to show that BR therapy leads to profoundly improved stroke outcomes in mice and that the improved outcomes are mediated via MMP-9. These results offer new insights into the mechanisms of stroke damage.

Source Citation

Ren, X., Hu, H., Farooqi, I. et al. Blood substitution therapy rescues the brain of mice from ischemic damage. Nat Commun 11, 4078 (2020).


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