Background: The prostaglandin E2 EP2 receptor has been shown to be important in dictating outcomes in various neuroinflammatory disorders. Here, we investigated the importance of the EP2 receptor in short- and long-term ischemic outcomes by subjecting wildtype (WT) and EP2 knockout (EP2-/-) mice to two distinct and complementary stroke models [transient and permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO and pMCAO)] and by using the EP2 receptor agonist ONO-AE1-259-01.
Methods: First, WT and EP2-/- mice were subjected to 90-min tMCAO with a monofilament followed by 4-day reperfusion. Second, WT mice were infused intracerebroventricularly with vehicle or ONO-AE1-259-01 45-50 min before being subjected to tMCAO. Finally, WT and EP2-/- mice were subjected to pMCAO and allowed to survive for an extended period of 7 days.
Results: Infarct volumes in EP2-/- mice were 55.0 +/- 9.1% larger after tMCAO and 33.3 +/- 8.6% larger after pMCAO than those in WT mice. Neurobehavioral deficits also were significantly greater in the EP2-/- mice. These results suggest that EP2 is beneficial and that activation is sustained for days after the stroke. We also found that pharmacologic activation of EP2 with 1.0- and 2.0-nmol doses of ONO-AE1-259-01 was sufficient to significantly reduce the infarct volume in WT mice compared with that in vehicle-treated controls (20.1 +/- 3.9% vs. 37.1 +/- 4.6%). This reduction correlated with improved neurologic scores. No significant effect on physiologic parameters was observed.
Conclusion: Together, our results reveal that pharmacologic stimulation of the EP2 receptor has an important beneficial role in cerebral ischemia and might be considered as an adjunct therapy for ischemic stroke.