Both MC1 and MC3 Receptors Provide Protection From Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion–Induced Neutrophil Recruitment
Objective—Neutrophil recruitment is a key process in the pathogenesis of stroke, and may provide a valuable therapeutic target. Targeting the melanocortin (MC) receptors has previously shown to inhibit leukocyte recruitment in peripheral inflammation, however, it is not known whether treatments are effective in the unique cerebral microvascular environment. Here, we provide novel research highlighting the effects of the MC peptides on cerebral neutrophil recruitment, demonstrating important yet discrete roles for both MC1 and MC3.
Approach and Results—Using intravital microscopy, in 2 distinct murine models of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury, we have investigated MC control for neutrophil recruitment. After global I/R, pharmacological treatments suppressed pathological neutrophil recruitment. MC1 selective treatment rapidly inhibited neutrophil recruitment while a nonselective MC agonist provided protection even when coadministered with an MC3/4 antagonist, suggesting the importance of early MC1 signaling. However, by 2-hour reperfusion, MC1-mediated effects were reduced, and MC3 anti-inflammatory circuits predominated. Mice bearing a nonfunctional MC1 displayed a transient exacerbation of neutrophil recruitment after global I/R, which diminished by 2 hours. However importantly, enhanced inflammatory responses in both MC1 mutant and MC3−/− mice resulted in increased infarct size and poor functional outcome after focal I/R. Furthermore, we used an in vitro model of leukocyte recruitment to demonstrate these anti-inflammatory actions are also effective in human cells.
Conclusions—These studies reveal for the first time MC control for neutrophil recruitment in the unique pathophysiological context of cerebral I/R, while also demonstrating the potential therapeutic value of targeting multiple MCs in developing effective therapeutics.
- Received January 19, 2015.
- Accepted June 11, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.