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    Adhesion molecules are key elements in stroke-induced brain injury by regulating the migration of effector immune cells from the circulation to the lesion site. Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) is an adhesion molecule highly expressed on endothelial cells and leukocytes, which controls the final steps of trans-endothelial migration. A functional role for PECAM-1 in post-ischemic brain injury has not yet been demonstrated. Using genetic Pecam-1 depletion and PECAM-1 blockade using a neutralizing anti-PECAM-1 antibody, we evaluated the role of PECAM-1 mediated trans-endothelial immune cell migration for ischemic injury, delayed brain atrophy, and brain immune cell infiltrates. Trans-endothelial immune cell migration was furthermore evaluated in cultured human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells. Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) was induced in 10-12-week-old male Pecam-1-/- and Pecam-1+/+ wildtype mice. PECAM-1 levels increased in the ischemic brain tissue due to the infiltration of PECAM-1+ leukocytes. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we observed smaller infarct volume, less edema formation, and less brain atrophy in Pecam-1-/- compared with Pecam-1+/+ wildtype mice. The transmigration of leukocytes, specifical neutrophils, was selectively reduced by Pecam-1-/-, as shown by immune fluorescence and flow cytometry in vivo and transmigration assays in vitro. Importantly, inhibition with an anti-PECAM-1 antibody in wildtype mice decreased neutrophil brain influx and infarct. PECAM-1 controls the trans-endothelial migration of neutrophils in a mouse model of ischemic stroke. Antibody blockade of PECAM-1 after stroke onset ameliorates stroke severity in mice, making PECAM-1 an interesting target to dampen post-stroke neuroinflammation, reduce ischemic brain injury, and enhance post-ischemic brain remodeling. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Jack Winneberger, Sebastian Schöls, Katrin Lessmann, Javier Rández-Garbayo, Alexander T Bauer, Ayan Mohamud Yusuf, Dirk M Hermann, Matthias Gunzer, Stefan W Schneider, Jens Fiehler, Christian Gerloff, Mathias Gelderblom, Peter Ludewig, Tim Magnus. Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 is a gatekeeper of neutrophil transendothelial migration in ischemic stroke. Brain, behavior, and immunity. 2021 Mar;93:277-287

    PMID: 33388423

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