Background: Cerebral vasospasm (CV) can contribute to significant morbidity in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) patients. A key unknown is how CV induction is triggered following SAH.
Methods: Human aneurysmal blood and cerebral spinal fluid were collected for evaluation. To confirm mechanism, c57/bl6 wild type and c57/bl6 IL-6 female knockout (KO) mice were utilized with groups: saline injected, SAH, SAH + IL-6 blockade, SAH IL-6 KO, SAH IL-6 KO + IL-6 administration, SAH + p-STAT3 inhibition. Dual-labeled microglia/myeloid mice were used to show myeloid diapedesis. For SAH, 50 μm blood was collected from tail puncture and administered into basal cisterns. IL-6 blockade was given at various time points. Various markers of neuroinflammation were measured with western blot and immunohistochemistry. Cerebral blood flow was also measured. Vasospasm was measured via cardiac injection of India ink/gelatin. Turning test and Garcia's modified SAH score were utilized. P < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: IL-6 expression peaked 3 days following SAH (p < 0.05). Human IL-6 was increased in aneurysmal blood (p < 0.05) and in cerebral spinal fluid (p < 0.01). Receptor upregulation was periventricular and perivascular. Microglia activation following SAH resulted in increased caveolin 3 and myeloid diapedesis. A significant increase in BBB markers endothelin 1 and occludin was noted following SAH, but reduced with IL-6 blockade (p < 0.01). CV occurred 5 days post-SAH, but was absent in IL-6 KO mice and mitigated with IL-6 blockade (p < 0.05). IL-6 blockade, and IL-6 KO mitigated effects of SAH on cerebral blood flow (p < 0.05). SAH mice had impaired performance on turn test and poor modified Garcia scores compared to saline and IL-6 blockade. A distinct microglia phenotype was noted day 5 in the SAH group (overlap coefficients r = 0.96 and r = 0.94) for Arg1 and iNOS, which was altered by IL-6 blockade. Day 7, a significant increase in toll-like receptor 4 and Stat3 was noted. This was mitigated by IL-6 blockade and IL-6 KO, which also reduced Caspase 3 (p < 0.05). To confirm the mechanism, we developed a p-STAT3 inhibitor that targets the IL-6 pathway and this reduced NFΚB, TLR4, and nitrotyrosine (p < 0.001). Ventricular dilation and increased Tunel positivity was noted day 9, but resolved by IL-6 blockade (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Correlation between IL-6 and CV has been well documented. We show that a mechanistic connection exists via the p-STAT3 pathway, and IL-6 blockade provides benefit in reducing CV and its consequences mediated by myeloid cell origin diapedesis.
Keywords: Interleukin-6; Microglia activation; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Vasospasm; p-STAT3.
© 2022. The Author(s).