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Activation of Alpha-7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Reduces Brain Edema in Mice with Ischemic Stroke and Bone Fracture.

  • Author(s): Zou, Dingquan
  • Luo, Man
  • Han, Zhenying
  • Zhan, Lei
  • Zhu, Wan
  • Kang, Shuai
  • Bao, Chen
  • Li, Zhao
  • Nelson, Jeffrey
  • Zhang, Rui
  • Su, Hua
  • et al.

Stroke is an important risk factor for bone fracture. We showed previously that bone fracture at the acute stage of ischemic stroke worsens, and activation of α-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α-7 nAchR) improves, stroke recovery by attenuating inflammation. We hypothesized that activation of α-7 nAchR also improves the blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity. Permanent distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) was performed on C57BL/6J mice followed by tibia fracture 1 day later. Mice were treated with 0.8 mg/kg PHA 568487 (PHA, α-7 nAchR-specific agonist), 6 mg/kg methyllycaconitine (MLA, α-7 nAchR antagonist), or saline 1 and 2 days after pMCAO. Brain water content, the expression of monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B), and tight junction protein (claudin-5) were assessed. We found that tibia fracture increased water content in the ischemic stroke brain (p = 0.006) and MAO-B-positive astrocytes (p < 0.001). PHA treatment reduced water content and MAO-B-positive astrocytes and increased claudin-5 expression in stroke and stroke + tibia fracture mice (p < 0.05), while MLA had the opposite effect. Our findings suggest that in addition to inhibiting inflammation, activation of α-7 nAchR also reduces brain edema, possibly through diminished astrocyte oxidative stress and improved BBB integrity. Thus, the α-7 nAchR-specific agonist could be developed into a new therapy for improving recovery of patients with stroke or stroke + bone fracture.

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