Microbiome alterations have been shown to affect stroke outcome. However, to what extent the presence of a gut microbiome per se is affecting post-stroke neuroinflammation has not been tested. By comparing germfree mice with recolonized (Ex-GF) and conventional SPF mice, we were able to demonstrate that bacterial colonization reduces stroke volumes. Bacterial colonization increased cerebral expression of cytokines as well as microglia/macrophage cell counts in contrast to improved stroke outcome. Interestingly, the microbiome-mediated brain protection was absent in lymphocyte-deficient mice. These findings support the concept of lymphocyte-driven protective neuroinflammation after stroke under control of the microbiome.
Keywords: Stroke; T cells; germfree; microbiota; microglia; neuroinflammation.