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Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2017 Nov;38(11):1425-1434. doi: 10.1038/aps.2017.122. Epub 2017 Sep 14.

Age-related differences in interferon regulatory factor-4 and -5 signaling in ischemic brains of mice.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Nanjing First Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210006, China.
  • 2Department of Neurology, Wannan Medical College Yijishan Hospital, Wannan 241001, China.
  • 3Department of Stomatology, Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu 233030, China.
  • 4Department of Neurology, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Stroke is a disease that mainly affects the elderly. Since the age-related differences in stroke have not been well studied, modeling stroke in aged animals is clinically more relevant. The inflammatory responses to stroke are a fundamental pathological procedure, in which microglial activation plays an important role. Interferon regulatory factor-5 (IRF5) and IRF4 regulate M1 and M2 activation of macrophages, respectively, in peripheral inflammation; but it is unknown whether IRF5/IRF4 are also involved in cerebral inflammatory responses to stroke and whether age-related differences of the IRF5/IRF4 signaling exist in ischemic brain. Here, we investigated the influences of aging on IRF5/IRF4 signaling and post-stroke inflammation in mice. Both young (9-12 weeks) and aged (18 months) male mice were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Morphological and biochemical changes in the ischemic brains and behavior deficits were assessed on 1, 3, and 7 d post-stroke. After MCAO, the aged mice showed smaller infarct sizes but higher neurological deficits and corner test scores than young mice. Young mice had higher levels of IRF4 and CD206 microglia in the ischemic brains, whereas the aged mice expressed more IRF5 and MHCII microglia. After MCAO, serum pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, iNOS, IL-6) were more prominently up-regulated in aged mice, whereas serum anti-inflammatory cytokines (TGF-β, IL-4, IL-10) were more prominently up-regulated in young mice. Our results demonstrate that aging has a significant influence on stroke outcomes in mice, which is probably mediated by age-specific inflammatory responses.

[Available on 2018-11-01]
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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