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Neurol Sci. 2013 Sep;34(9):1605-11. doi: 10.1007/s10072-013-1293-0. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

t-PA reduces ischemic impairment of blood-brain barrier by strengthening endothelium junction.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, 23 You-Zheng Street, Nangang District, Harbin, 150001, Heilongjiang, People's Republic of China.


Cerebral ischemic stroke is one of the most prevalent diseases in senior individuals. Its therapeutical strategies include anticoagulation, thrombolysis and cell protection. Tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) that interacts with thrombin for the lysis of thrombosis is widely used to treat stroke patients in early stage. The mechanism of action of t-PA is not clear. Here, we report a novel role of t-PA in protecting blood-brain barrier and its potential mechanisms. In a model of the blood-brain barrier with human umbilical vascular epithelium cells, we found that t-PA in low concentrations prevented the impairment of the blood-brain barrier as a result of oxygen and glucose deprivation. This protection was fulfilled by strengthening the junctions among vascular endothelia and by upregulating the productions of vascular endothelium growth factor and of zonula occludens-1. Therefore, t-PA may strengthen the junctions of vascular endothelia in the blood-brain barrier to improve the microenvironment of brain cells and, in turn, the outcome of stroke patients.

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