Endothelin-1 overexpression leads to further water accumulation and brain edema after middle cerebral artery occlusion via aquaporin 4 expression in astrocytic end-feet

Amy C Y Lo, Ann Y S Chen, Victor K L Hung, Lai Ping Yaw, Maggie K L Fung, Maggie C Y Ho, Margaret C S Tsang, Stephen S M Chung, Sookja K Chung
Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 2005, 25 (8): 998-1011
Stroke patients have increased levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1), a strong vasoconstrictor, in their plasma or cerebrospinal fluid. Previously, we showed high level of ET-1 mRNA expression in astrocytes after hypoxia/ischemia. It is unclear whether the contribution of ET-1 induction in astrocytes is protective or destructive in cerebral ischemia. Here, we generated a transgenic mouse model that overexpress ET-1 in astrocytes (GET-1) using the glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter to examine the role of astrocytic ET-1 in ischemic stroke by challenging these mice with transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Under normal condition, GET-1 mice showed no abnormality in brain morphology, cerebrovasculature, absolute cerebral blood flow, blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity, and mean arterial blood pressure. Yet, GET-1 mice subjected to transient MCAO showed more severe neurologic deficits and increased infarct, which were partially normalized by administration of ABT-627 (ET(A) antagonist) 5 mins after MCAO. In addition, GET-1 brains exhibited more Evans blue extravasation and showed decreased endothelial occludin expression after MCAO, correlating with higher brain water content and increased cerebral edema. Aquaporin 4 expression was also more pronounced in astrocytic end-feet on blood vessels in GET-1 ipsilateral brains. Our current data suggest that astrocytic ET-1 has deleterious effects on water homeostasis, cerebral edema and BBB integrity, which contribute to more severe ischemic brain injury.


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