Background: The proteolytic activity of human ADAMTS13 regulates the size of von Willebrand factor (VWF) multimers, controlling excessive platelet aggregation and preventing microvascular thrombus formation. Deficiency of ADAMTS13 causes thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and patients with TTP often have neurological deficits such as stupor or coma. Therefore, ADAMTS13 appears necessary for vascular homeostasis in the brain and may also influence the response to brain injury during ischemic stroke.

Method and Result: We investigated the role of ADAMTS13 in a mouse middle cerebral arterial occlusion (MCAO) model of ischemia-reperfusion injury in the brain. We compared 24 wild type mice (WT) and 24 ADAMTS13 gene deleted mice (KO), which are healthy and fertile. All mice were males 6–8 weeks of age. Investigators were blinded to the genotype until all analyses were finished. We applied MCAO for 30 minutes followed by 23.5 hours of reperfusion. The cerebral blood flow (CBF) around the cortex of the ischemic region was measured by laser Doppler flowmetry for 60 minutes after MCAO. In both WT and KO mice, the CBF decreased to less than 20% of baseline during MCAO and returned to normal immediately after reperfusion. However, during the subsequent 30 min the CBF decreased to 34.6±5.8% of baseline for KO mice compared to 83.2±6.8% of baseline for WT mice (P < 0.01) and remained significantly decreased at 24 hours, suggesting that ADAMTS13 deficiency promotes thrombosis after reperfusion injury. The infarction volumes of the brain were determined from the area not stained by 2,3,5,-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) 24 hours after MCAO. KO mice had significantly increased volume of brain infarction compared with WT (31.0±6.5mm3 vs 11.4±1.9 mm3, P < 0.01). The degree of post-ischemic inflammation was estimated by Western blotting of plasma HMGB1 (high-mobility group box1) 24 hours after MCAO. Plasma HMGB1 was increased to 34.4 ± 5.3 ng/ml in KO mice, compared to 19.6 ± 3.5 ng/ml in WT mice (P < 0.05). The KO and WT mice did not differ during the MCAO procedure in body temperature, survival (80% vs 85%) at 24 hours, prothrombin time, arterial pH, pO2 or pCO2.

Conclusion: ADAMTS13 deficiency aggravates the extent of persistent brain ischemia, infarct volume and inflammatory response after brief MCAO. Therefore, ADAMTS13 plays a neuroprotective role against ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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