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Stroke. 1999 Mar;30(3):624-9.

Thrombolysis with tissue plasminogen activator alters adhesion molecule expression in the ischemic rat brain.

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Department of Neurology, Henry Ford Health Sciences Center, Detroit, MI, USA.



We tested the hypothesis that treatment of embolic stroke with recombinant human tissue plasminogen activator (rhtPA) alters cerebral expression of adhesion molecules.


Male Wistar rats were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion by a single fibrin-rich clot. P-selectin, E-selectin, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) immunoreactivity was measured at 6 or 24 hours after embolic stroke in control rats and in rats treated with rhtPA at 1 or 4 hours after stroke. To examine the therapeutic efficacy of combined rhtPA and anti-ICAM-1 antibody treatment at 4 hours after embolization, ischemic lesion volumes were measured in rats treated with rhtPA alone, rats treated with rhtPA and anti-ICAM-1 antibody, and nontreated rats.


Administration of rhtPA at 1 hour after embolization resulted in a significant reduction of adhesion molecule vascular immunoreactivity after embolization in the ipsilateral hemisphere compared with corresponding control rats. However, when rhtPA was administered to rats at 4 hours after embolization, significant increases of adhesion molecule immunoreactivity in the ipsilateral hemisphere were detected. A significant increase of ICAM-1 immunoreactivity was also detected in the contralateral hemisphere at 24 hours after ischemia. A significant reduction in lesion volume was found in rats treated with the combination of rhtPA and anti-ICAM-1 antibody compared with rats treated only with rhtPA.


The present study suggests that the time of initiation of thrombolytic therapy alters vascular immunoreactivity of inflammatory adhesion molecules in the ischemic brain and that therapeutic benefit can be obtained by combining rhtPA and anti-ICAM-1 antibody treatment 4 hours after stroke.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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