Lack of collagen XV is protective after ischemic stroke in mice
Dhungana, Hiramani; Huuskonen, Mikko T; Pihlajaniemi, Taina; Heljasvaara, Ritva; Vivien, Denis; Kanninen, Katja M; Malm, Tarja; Koistinaho, Jari; Lemarchant, Sighild (2017-01-12)
Cell Death and Disease (2017) 8, e2541; doi:10.1038/cddis.2016.456. Published online 12 January 2017
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Collagens are key structural components of basement membranes, providing a scaffold for other components or adhering cells. Collagens and collagen-derived active fragments contribute to biological activities such as cell growth, differentiation and migration. Here, we report that collagen XV knock-out (ColXV KO) mice are resistant to experimental ischemic stroke. Interestingly, the infarcts of ColXV KO mice were as small as those of wild-type (WT) mice thrombolysed with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA), the actual treatment for ischemic stroke. Importantly, there were no differences in the architecture of cerebrovascular anatomy between WT and ColXV KO mice. We found a twofold increase of the most potent pro-angiogenic factor, type A vascular growth endothelial factor (VEGF-A) in the ipsilateral cortex of rtPA-treated ischemic WT mice compared with untreated ischemic and sham-operated counterparts. A similar increase of VEGF-A was also found in both rtPA and untreated ischemic ColXV KO mice compared with sham ColXV KO mice. Finally, we evidenced that the levels of ColXV were increased in the plasma of WT mice treated with rtPA compared with untreated ischemic counterparts. Altogether, this study indicates that the lack ColXV is protective after stroke and that the degradation of endothelial ColXV may contribute to the beneficial effect of rtPA after ischemic stroke. The neuroprotection observed in ColXV KO mice may be attributed to the increased VEGF-A production following stroke in the ischemic territory.
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