Public Release: 

Potential new treatment strategy for neuroinflammation related to severe type of stroke

New research in The FASEB Journal suggests that pharmcological blockade of a protein called TSPO reduces inflammation and brain edema in animal models of intracerebral hemorrhage

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Scientists have discovered a potential new treatment strategy to reduce the effects of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), a severe form of stroke where a blood vessel bursts and bleeds into the brain, causing life-threatening edema and neuroinflammation. Using mice, they found that a ligand of the TPSO protein called etifoxine reduces inflammation and brain edema in animal models. This research has been published online in The FASEB Journal.

"Targeting TSPO can restrict neuroinflammation and brain edema after ICH," said Qiang Liu, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work at the Department of Neurology, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, in Phoenix, Arizona. "TSPO ligands have the potential to serve as a new remedy for ICH."

Liu and colleagues made their discovery after inducing ICH in mice by administration of known effectors, with or without etoxifine. Etifoxine reduced leukocyte infiltration into the brain and microglial production of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha, both hallmarks of ICH. The ligand improved blood-brain-barrier integrity and diminished cell death.

"This is a very provocative new lead on ICH," said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "A cytokine axis in ICH is not new, but the notion that this TSPO ligand can do what it does is new, and very promising."

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Submit to The FASEB Journal by visiting http://fasebj.msubmit.net, and receive monthly highlights by signing up at http://www.faseb.org/fjupdate.aspx. The FASEB Journal is published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). It is among the world's most cited biology journals, according to the Institute for Scientific Information, and has been recognized by the Special Libraries Association as one of the top 100 most influential biomedical journals of the past century.

FASEB is composed of 30 societies with more than 125,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. Our mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.

Details: Minshu Li, Honglei Ren, Kevin N. Sheth, Fu-Dong Shi, and Qiang Liu. A TSPO ligand attenuates brain injury after intracerebral hemorrhage. FASEB J. doi:10.1096/fj.201601377RR ; http://www.fasebj.org/content/early/2017/04/14/fj.201601377RR.full.pdf+html

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