Stroke affects intestinal immune cell trafficking to the central nervous system.

TitleStroke affects intestinal immune cell trafficking to the central nervous system.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBrea D, Poon C, Benakis C, Lubitz G, Murphy M, Iadecola C, Anrather J
JournalBrain Behav Immun
Date Published2021 May 11

Stroke is an acute neurological disease with a strong inflammatory component that can be regulated by the intestinal microbiota and intestinal immune cells. Although stroke has been shown to alter immune cell populations in the gut, the dynamics of cell trafficking have not been elucidated. To study the trafficking of gut-derived immune cells after stroke, we used mice expressing the photoconvertible protein Kikume Green-Red, which turns form green to red when exposed to violet light. Mice underwent laparotomy and the small intestine was exposed to violet laser light. Immune cells were isolated from the small intestine immediately after photoconversion and 2 days later. Percentage of immune cells (CD45+KikR+) that expressed the red variant of the protein (KikR) was higher immediately after photoconversion than 2 days later, indicating cell egress from the small intestine. To investigate whether intestinal immune cells traffic to the periphery and/or the central nervous system (CNS) after stroke, we analyzed KikR+ immune cells (2 days after photoconversion) in peripheral lymphoid organs, meninges and brain, 3 and 14 days after transient occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (tMCAo) or sham-surgery. Although migration was observed in naïve and sham animals, stroke induced a higher mobilization of gut KikR+ immune cells, especially at 3 days after stroke, to all the organs analyzed. Notably, we detected a significant migration of CD45hi immune cells from the gut to the brain and meninges at 3 days after stroke. Comparison of cell trafficking between organs revealed a significant preference of intestinal CD11c+ cells to migrate from the small intestine to brain and meninges after stroke. We conclude that stroke increases immune cell trafficking from the small intestine to peripheral lymphoid organs and the CNS where they might contribute to post-stroke inflammation.

Alternate JournalBrain Behav Immun
PubMed ID33989742