Platelet Activation and Chemokine Release Are Related to Local Neutrophil-Dominant Inflammation During Hyperacute Human Stroke

Transl Stroke Res. 2022 Jun;13(3):364-369. doi: 10.1007/s12975-021-00938-w. Epub 2021 Aug 28.


Experimental evidence has emerged that local platelet activation contributes to inflammation and infarct formation in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) which awaits confirmation in human studies. We conducted a prospective observational study on 258 consecutive patients undergoing mechanical thrombectomy (MT) due to large-vessel-occlusion stroke of the anterior circulation (08/2018-05/2020). Intraprocedural microcatheter aspiration of 1 ml of local (occlusion condition) and systemic arterial blood samples (self-control) was performed according to a prespecified protocol. The samples were analyzed for differential leukocyte counts, platelet counts, and plasma levels of the platelet-derived neutrophil-activating chemokine C-X-C-motif ligand (CXCL) 4 (PF-4), the neutrophil attractant CXCL7 (NAP-2), and myeloperoxidase (MPO). The clinical-biological relevance of these variables was corroborated by specific associations with molecular-cellular, structural-radiological, hemodynamic, and clinical-functional parameters. Seventy consecutive patients fulfilling all predefined criteria entered analysis. Mean local CXCL4 (+ 39%: 571 vs 410 ng/ml, P = .0095) and CXCL7 (+ 9%: 693 vs 636 ng/ml, P = .013) concentrations were higher compared with self-controls. Local platelet counts were lower (- 10%: 347,582 vs 383,284/µl, P = .0052), whereas neutrophil counts were elevated (+ 10%: 6022 vs 5485/µl, P = 0.0027). Correlation analyses revealed associations between local platelet and neutrophil counts (r = 0.27, P = .034), and between CXCL7 and MPO (r = 0.24, P = .048). Local CXCL4 was associated with the angiographic degree of reperfusion following recanalization (r = - 0.2523, P = .0479). Functional outcome at discharge correlated with local MPO concentrations (r = 0.3832, P = .0014) and platelet counts (r = 0.288, P = .0181). This study provides human evidence of cerebral platelet activation and platelet-neutrophil interactions during AIS and points to the relevance of per-ischemic thrombo-inflammatory mechanisms to impaired reperfusion and worse functional outcome following recanalization.

Keywords: CXCL4; CXCL7; Chemokines; Ischemic stroke; NAP-2; PF4.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chemokines
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Ischemic Stroke*
  • Neutrophils
  • Platelet Activation
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Chemokines