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Biol Res Nurs. 2011 Apr;13(2):154-63. doi: 10.1177/1099800410384500. Epub 2010 Nov 1.

Systemic neutrophil activation in a mouse model of ischemic stroke and reperfusion.

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College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.


As a natural response to injury and disease, neutrophils activate, adhere to the microvasculature, migrate into brain tissue, and release toxic substances such as reactive oxygen species and proteases. This neutrophil response occurs when blood flow is returned to brain tissue (reperfusion) after ischemic stroke. Thus, the presence of activated systemic neutrophils increases the potential for tissue injury during reperfusion after ischemic stroke. Although experiments in rat models suggest that activated neutrophils play a pivotal role in cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury, little is known about systemic neutrophil activation during reperfusion following ischemic stroke in a mouse model. The purpose of this study was to characterize systemic leukocyte responses and neutrophil CD11b expression 15-min and 24-hr post-reperfusion in a mouse model of ischemic stroke. The intraluminal filament method of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) with reperfusion or a sham procedure was performed in male C57Bl/6 mice. Automated leukocyte counts and manual white blood cell (WBC) differential counts were measured. Flow cytometry was used to assess systemic neutrophil surface CD11b expression. The data suggest that the damaging potential of systemic neutrophil activation begins as early as 15 min and remains evident at 24 hr after the initiation of reperfusion. In addition, because transgenic mouse models, bred on a C57Bl/6 background, are increasingly used to elucidate single mechanisms of reperfusion injury after ischemic stroke, findings from this study are foundational for future investigations examining the damaging potential of neutrophil responses post-reperfusion after ischemic stroke in genetically altered mouse models within this background strain.

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