Anfibatide Preserves Blood–Brain Barrier Integrity by Inhibiting TLR4/RhoA/ROCK Pathway After Cerebral Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Rat


The disruption of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and the consequent brain edema are major contributors to the pathogenesis of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. RhoA is generally thought to play a crucial role in the process of BBB disruption and participate in the signaling pathways emanating from TLR4. However, it remains unverified the regulatory role of TLR4 in the RhoA/ROCK pathway in cerebral I/R injury and its effects on the BBB as well. The present study probes into the protective effect of ANF on the BBB after cerebral I/R injury and the possible mechanisms. Focal cerebral ischemia was induced by 120 min of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). ANF (1, 2, 4 μg/kg) was achieved by intravenous injection after 120 min of MCAO followed by 1, 24, 48, and 72 h reperfusion. Evans blue extravasation, brain water content, RhoA activity, and the expressions of TLR4, ROCK1/2, p-MLC2, MMP-2/9, ZO-1, occludin, and claudin-5 protein in rat brain were evaluated 72 h after reperfusion. ANF could significantly reduce the Evans blue extravasation and water content in the ipsilateral hemisphere and obviously increase the occludin, claudin-5, and ZO-1 expression after cerebral I/R injury. Furthermore, cerebral I/R injury induced apparently increased expression of TLR4, RhoA-GTP, ROCK1/2, p-MLC2, and MMMP-2/9, which, however, could be remarkably alleviated by ANF intervention. Taken together, the TLR4/RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway is implicated in BBB breakdown after cerebral I/R injury, and ANF preserves BBB integrity, probably via inhibiting the TLR4/RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway.

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Correspondence to Sheng-Yong Luo.

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Animal care and experimental protocols were approved by the Anhui Medical University Animal Care and Use Committee, in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

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Gong, P., Li, R., Jia, H. et al. Anfibatide Preserves Blood–Brain Barrier Integrity by Inhibiting TLR4/RhoA/ROCK Pathway After Cerebral Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Rat. J Mol Neurosci 70, 71–83 (2020) doi:10.1007/s12031-019-01402-z

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  • Ischemic stroke
  • Blood–brain barrier
  • Toll-like receptor 4
  • RhoA
  • Matrix metalloproteinases