Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor gene therapy as a novel therapeutics for stroke in a mouse model

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Abstract: Global ischemia is the resulting effect of a cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA). Presently there is no effective treatment to address neurological deficits in patients who survived a CPA. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor is a growth factor (G-CSF) with a plethora of beneficial effects, including neuroprotection. Clinical application of human G-CSF (hG-CSF) is limited due to its plasma half-life of 4 h. Therefore, novel approaches need to be investigated that would (1) enable prolonged manifestation of hG-CSF and (2) demonstrate G-CSF efficacy from studying the underlying protective mechanisms of hG-CSF. In our previous work, we used the self-complementary adeno-associated virus (stereotype2: scAAV2) as a vector to transfect the hG-CSF gene into the global ischemic brain of a mouse. As an extension of that work, we now seek to elucidate the protective mechanisms of hG-CSF gene therapy against endoplasmic reticulum induced stress, mitochondrial dynamics and autophagy in global ischemia.
A single drop of either AAV-CMV-hG-CSF or AAV-CMV-GFP was dropped into the conjunctival sac of the Swiss Webster mouse’s left eye, 30–60 min after bilateral common artery occlusion (BCAO). The efficacy of the expressed hG-CSF gene product was analyzed by monitoring the expression levels of endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER), mitochondrial dynamics and autophagic proteins over 4- and 7-days post-BCAO in vulnerable brain regions including the striatum, overlying cortex (frontal brain regions) and the hippocampus (middle brain regions). Statistical analysis was performed using mostly One-Way Analysis of variance (ANOVA), except for behavioral analysis, which used Repeated Measures Two-Way ANOVA, post hoc analysis was performed using the Tukey test.

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