Transgenic expression of HuR increases vasogenic edema and impedes functional recovery in rodent ischemic stroke

Neurosci Lett. 2017 Nov 20;661:126-131. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2017.09.062. Epub 2017 Oct 2.


Background and purpose: Ischemic stroke produces significant morbidity and mortality, and acute interventions are limited by short therapeutic windows. Novel approaches to neuroprotection and neurorepair are necessary. HuR is an RNA-binding protein (RBP) which modulates RNA stability and translational efficiency of genes linked to ischemic stroke injury.

Methods: Using a transgenic (Tg) mouse model, we examined the impact of ectopic HuR expression in astrocytes on acute injury evolution after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO).

Results: HuR transgene expression was detected in astrocytes in perilesional regions and contralaterally. HuR Tg mice did not improve neurologically 72h after injury, whereas littermate controls did. In Tg mice, increased cerebral vascular permeability and edema were observed. Infarct volume was not affected by the presence of the transgene.

Conclusions: Ectopic expression of HuR in astrocytes worsens outcome after transient ischemic stroke in mice in part by increasing vasogenic cerebral edema. These findings suggest that HuR could be a therapeutic target in cerebral ischemia/reperfusion.

Keywords: Brain edema; Ischemic stroke; Middle cerebral artery occlusion; Transgenic mice; Vascular permeability.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Edema / genetics
  • Brain Edema / metabolism*
  • Brain Ischemia / genetics
  • Brain Ischemia / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • ELAV-Like Protein 1 / genetics
  • ELAV-Like Protein 1 / metabolism*
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / genetics
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / metabolism*
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Recovery of Function / genetics
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Stroke / physiopathology


  • ELAV-Like Protein 1