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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2013 Apr;33(4):557-66. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2012.201. Epub 2013 Jan 9.

Neurovascular protection by targeting early blood-brain barrier disruption with neurotrophic factors after ischemia-reperfusion in rats*.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Regensburg University Medical Centre, Regensburg, Germany.


The 'new penumbra' concept imbues the transition between injury and repair at the neurovascular unit with profound implications for selecting the appropriate type and timing of neuroprotective interventions. In this conceptual study, we investigated the protective effects of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) and compared them with the properties of epidermal growth factor (EGF) in a rat model of ischemia-reperfusion injury. We initiated a delayed intervention 3 hours after reperfusion using equimolar amounts of PEDF and EGF. These agents were then administered intravenously for 4 hours following reperfusion after 1 hour of focal ischemia. Magnetic resonance imaging indices were characterized, and imaging was performed at multiple time points post reperfusion. PEDF and EGF reduced lesion volumes at all time points as observed on T2-weighted images (T2-LVs). In addition PEDF selectively attenuated lesion volume expansion at 48 hours after reperfusion and persistently modulated blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability at all time points. Intervention with peptides is suspected to cause edema formation at distant regions. The observed T2-LV reduction and BBB modulation by these trophic factors is probably mediated through a number of diverse mechanisms. A thorough evaluation of neurotrophins is still necessary to determine their time-dependent contributions against injury and their modulatory effects on repair after stroke.

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