The supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain is vital for its function and requires a complex vascular network that, when disturbed, results in profound neurological dysfunction. As part of the pathology in stroke, endothelial cells die. As endothelial cell death affects the surrounding cellular environment and is a potential target for the treatment and prevention of neurological disorders, we have systematically reviewed important aspects of endothelial cell death with a particular focus on stroke. After screening 2876 publications published between January 1, 2010 and August 7, 2019, we identified 154 records to be included. We found that endothelial cell death occurs rapidly as well as later after the onset of stroke conditions. Among the different cell death mechanisms, apoptosis was the most widely investigated (92 records), followed by autophagy (20 records), while other, more recently defined mechanisms received less attention, such as lysosome-dependent cell death (2 records) and necroptosis (2 records). We also discuss the differential vulnerability of brain cells to injury after stroke and the role of endothelial cell death in the no-reflow phenomenon with a special focus on the microvasculature. Further investigation of the different cell death mechanisms using novel tools and biomarkers will greatly enhance our understanding of endothelial cell death. For this task, at least two markers/criteria are desirable to determine cell death subroutines according to the recommendations of the Nomenclature Committee on Cell Death.
Keywords: apoptosis; autophagy; ischemia; lysosome-dependent cell death; necroptosis; vasculature.
Copyright: © 2019 Zille et al.