Blockade of adrenoreceptors inhibits the splenic response to stroke

Craig T. Ajmo, Lisa A. Collier, Christopher C. Leonardo, Aaron A. Hall, Suzanne M. Green, Tracy A. Womble, Javier Cuevas, Alison E. Willing, Keith R. Pennypacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Recent studies have highlighted the involvement of the peripheral immune system in delayed cellular degeneration after stroke. In the permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model of stroke, the spleen decreases in size. This reduction occurs through the release of splenic immune cells. Systemic treatment with human umbilical cord blood cells (HUCBC) 24 h post-stroke blocks the reduction in spleen size while significantly reducing infarct volume. Splenectomy 2 weeks prior to MCAO also reduces infarct volume, further demonstrating the detrimental role of this organ in stroke-induced neurodegeneration. Activation of the sympathetic nervous system after MCAO results in elevated catecholamine levels both at the level of the spleen, through direct splenic innervation, and throughout the systemic circulation upon release from the adrenal medulla. These catecholamines bind to splenic α and β adrenoreceptors. This study examines whether catecholamines regulate the splenic response to stroke. Male Sprague-Dawley rats either underwent splenic denervation 2 weeks prior to MCAO or received injections of carvedilol, a pan adrenergic receptor blocker, prazosin, an α1 receptor blocker, or propranolol, a β receptor blocker. Denervation was confirmed by reduced splenic expression of tyrosine hydroxylase. Denervation prior to MCAO did not alter infarct volume or spleen size. Propranolol treatment also had no effects on these outcomes. Treatment with either prazosin or carvedilol prevented the reduction in spleen size, yet only carvedilol significantly reduced infarct volume (p < 0.05). These results demonstrate that circulating blood borne catecholamines regulate the splenic response to stroke through the activation of both α and β adrenergic receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Blockade of adrenoreceptors inhibits the splenic response to stroke'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this