Tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) expression is known to increase following transient focal cerebral ischemia and reperfusion. Previously, we reported downregulation of t-PA upon suppression of matrix metalloproteinase-12 (MMP-12), following transient focal cerebral ischemia and reperfusion. We now present data on the temporal expression of t-PA in the brain after transient ischemia, as well as the interaction between MMP-12 and t-PA, two proteases associated with the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and ischemic brain damage. We hypothesized that there might be reciprocal interactions between MMP-12 and t-PA in the brain after ischemic stroke. This hypothesis was tested using shRNA-mediated gene silencing and computational modeling. Suppression of t-PA following transient ischemia and reperfusion in rats attenuated MMP-12 expression in the brain. The overall effect of t-PA shRNA administration was to attenuate the degradation of BBB tight junction protein claudin-5, diminish BBB disruption, and reduce neuroinflammation by decreasing the expression of the microglia/macrophage pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype (CD68, iNOS, IL-1β, and TNFα). Reduced BBB disruption and subsequent lack of infiltration of macrophages (the main source of MMP-12 in the ischemic brain) could account for the decrease in MMP-12 expression after t-PA suppression. Computational modeling of in silico protein-protein interactions indicated that MMP-12 and t-PA may interact physically. Overall, our findings demonstrate that MMP-12 and t-PA interact directly or indirectly at multiple levels in the brain following an ischemic stroke. The present findings could be useful in the development of new pharmacotherapies for the treatment of stroke.
- Blood-brain barrier
- Matrix metalloproteinase-12
- Tissue-type plasminogen activator
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology