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    Stroke therapy still lacks successful measures to improve post stroke recovery. Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is one promising candidate which has proven therapeutic benefit in motor recovery in acute experimental stroke. Post stroke, the immune system has opposing pathophysiological roles: pro-inflammatory cascades and immune cell infiltration into the brain exacerbate cell death while the peripheral immune response has only limited capabilities to fight infections during the acute and subacute phase. With time, anti-inflammatory mechanisms are supposed to support recovery of the ischemic damage within the brain parenchyma. However, interestingly, NT-3 can improve recovery in chronic neurological injury when combined with the pro-inflammatory stimulus lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We elucidated the impact of NT-3 on human monocyte and T cell activation as well as cytokine production ex vivo after stroke. In addition, we investigated the age-dependent availability of the high affinity NT-3 receptor TrkC upon LPS stimulation. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from acute stroke patients and controls and incubated with different dosages of NT-3 (10 and 100 ng/mL) and with or without LPS or anti-CD3/CD28 for 48 h. Total TrkC expression and cell activation (CD25, CD69 and HLA-DR) were assessed by FACS staining. IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-9, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-21 and IL-22 were quantified by cytometric bead array. Most monocytes and only a small proportion of T cells expressed TrkC in blood from humans without stroke. Activation of cells from young humans (without strokes) using anti-CD3/CD28 or LPS partially reduced the proportion of monocytes expressing TrkC whilst they increased the proportion of T cells expressing TrkC. In contrast, activation of cells from elderly humans (without strokes) did not affect the proportion of monocytes expressing TrkC and only anti-CD3/CD28 led to an increase in the proportion of CD4+ T cells expressing TrkC. In blood from stroke patients or controls, NT-3 treatment reduced the percentage of monocytes and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells that were activated and reduced all cytokines investigated besides IL-21. NT-3 attenuated immune responses in cells from stroke patients and controls. The mechanism whereby human immune cells respond to NT-3 may be via TrkC receptors whose levels are regulated by stimulation. Further work is required to determine whether the induction of sensorimotor recovery in rodents by NT-3 after CNS injury is caused by this attenuation of the immune response. Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Mark Lukas Müller, Lars Peglau, Lawrence D F Moon, Stefan Groß, Juliane Schulze, Johanna Ruhnau, Antje Vogelgesang. Neurotrophin-3 attenuates human peripheral blood T cell and monocyte activation status and cytokine production post stroke. Experimental neurology. 2022 Jan;347:113901

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    PMID: 34688600

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