Azithromycin reduces hemoglobin-induced innate neuroimmune activation

Chirayu D. Pandya, Hemendra J. Vekaria, Miriam Zamorano, Amanda L. Trout, Rodney M. Ritzel, Gary U. Guzman, Christopher Bolden, Patrick G. Sullivan, John C. Gensel, Brandon A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neonatal intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) releases blood products into the lateral ventricles and brain parenchyma. There are currently no medical treatments for IVH and surgery is used to treat a delayed effect of IVH, post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus. However, surgery is not a cure for intrinsic brain injury from IVH, and is performed in a subacute time frame. Like many neurological diseases and injuries, innate immune activation is implicated in the pathogenesis of IVH. Innate immune activation is a pharmaceutically targetable mechanism to reduce brain injury and post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus after IVH. Here, we tested the macrolide antibiotic azithromycin, which has immunomodulatory properties, to reduce innate immune activation in an in vitro model of microglial activation using the blood product hemoglobin (Hgb). We then utilized azithromycin in our in vivo model of IVH, using intraventricular blood injection into the lateral ventricle of post-natal day 5 rat pups. In both models, azithromycin modulated innate immune activation by several outcome measures including mitochondrial bioenergetic analysis, cytokine expression and flow cytometric analysis. This suggests that azithromycin, which is safe for neonates, could hold promise for modulating innate immune activation after IVH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114574
JournalExperimental Neurology
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • Azithromycin
  • Innate immune
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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