Heterogeneity of B Cell Functions in Stroke-Related Risk, Prevention, Injury, and Repair

Uma Maheswari Selvaraj, Katherine Poinsatte, Vanessa Torres, Sterling B. Ortega, Ann M. Stowe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


It is well established that post-stroke inflammation contributes to neurovascular injury, blood–brain barrier disruption, and poor functional recovery in both animal and clinical studies. However, recent studies also suggest that several leukocyte subsets, activated during the post-stroke immune response, can exhibit both pro-injury and pro-recovery phenotypes. In accordance with these findings, B lymphocytes, or B cells, play a heterogeneous role in the adaptive immune response to stroke. This review highlights what is currently understood about the various roles of B cells, with an emphasis on stroke risk factors, as well as post-stroke injury and repair. This includes an overview of B cell functions, such as antibody production, cytokine secretion, and contribution to the immune response as antigen presenting cells. Next, evidence for B cell-mediated mechanisms in stroke-related risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, is outlined, followed by studies that focus on B cells during endogenous protection from stroke. Subsequently, animal studies that investigate the role of B cells in post-stroke injury and repair are summarized, and the final section describes current B cell-related clinical trials for stroke, as well as other central nervous system diseases. This review reveals the complex role of B cells in stroke, with a focus on areas for potential clinical intervention for a disease that affects millions of people globally each year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-747
Number of pages19
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by American Heart Association 14SDG18410020 and NIH NS088555.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, The Author(s).


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Autoreactivity
  • B lymphocyte
  • Breg
  • Hypertension
  • Ischemic tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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