Feil Family Brain & Mind Research Institute

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Garcia-Bonilla, Lidia

Lidia Garcia-Bonilla, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Research in Neuroscience


 Stroke is followed by a prompt inflammatory response that shapes the clinical outcome and prognosis. This immune response is characterized by the participation of brain resident cells and peripheral leukocytes. Innate immune cells, particularly circulating neutrophils and monocytes, infiltrate and accumulate drastically into the brain soon after the ischemic event, following a spatio-temporal profile. Both neutrophils and monocytes highly influence the course of the stroke pathobiology and may play either detrimental or beneficial roles. My lab’s goal is to elucidate the implications that innate immune cells have either in the progression of the ischemic injury or recovery after stroke. In particular, my research aims at (1) investigating the cellular mechanisms that drive neutrophil cytotoxicity upon cerebral ischemia, a process we discovered to be mediated by the innate immune receptor CD36 and (2) identifying the distinctive phenotypes that monocytes/macrophages may adopt in the ischemic brain, and their fates and interactions with other cellular components of the neurovascular unit.


Representative images of coronal brain sections from CCR2RFP/+CX3CR1GFP/+chimeric mice showing that “pro-inflammatory” CCR2-RFP monocytes/macrophages (red) infiltrate the ischemic hemisphere 3 days after middle cerebral occlusion in the mouse, while “anti-inflammatory” CX3CR1-GFP monocytes/macrophages (green) accumulate predominantly at the subacute phase (14 days).


-Scientist Development Grant Award from the American Heart Association (2016-2019) "Role of brain endothelial CD36 in neutrophil-induced post-ischemic inflammatory injury”


Selected Publications

-       Garcia-Bonilla L, Faraco G, Moore J, Murphy M, Racchumi G, Srinivasan J, Brea D, Iadecola C, Anrather J. Spatio-temporal profile, phenotypic diversity, and fate of recruited monocytes into the post ischemic brain. (2016) J Neuroinflammation. 4;13:285.

-       Benakis C, Garcia-Bonilla L, Iadecola C, Anrather J. The role of microglia and myeloid immune cells in acute cerebral ischemia. (2015) Front Cell Neurosci.14;8:461.

-       Garcia-Bonilla L, Racchumi G, Murphy M, Anrather J, Iadecola C. Endothelial CD36 Contributes to Postischemic Brain Injury by Promoting Neutrophil Activation via CSF3. (2015) J Neurosci. 4;35:14783-93.

-       Garcia-Bonilla L, Benakis C, Moore J, Iadecola C, Anrather J. Immune mechanisms in cerebral ischemic tolerance. (2014) Front Neurosci. 4;8:44.

-       Garcia-Bonilla L, Park L, Iadecola C. Commentary on Myers et al.: Growing role of the innate immunity receptor CD36 in central nervous system diseases. (2014) Exp Neurol. 261:633-7.

-       Garcia-Bonilla L, Moore JM, Racchumi G, Zhou P, Butler JM, Iadecola C, Anrather J. Inducible nitric oxide synthase in neutrophils and endothelium contributes to ischemic brain injury in mice. (2014) J Immunol. 193:2531-7.

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