Cytosolic receptor melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5 mediates preconditioning-induced neuroprotection against cerebral ischemic injury

Raffaella Gesuete, Sara N. Christensen, Frances R. Bahjat, Amy E.B. Packard, Susan L. Stevens, Mingyue Liu, Andres M. Salazar, Mary P. Stenzel-Poore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - Preconditioning with poly-l-lysine and carboxymethylcellulose (ICLC) provides robust neuroprotection from cerebral ischemia in a mouse stroke model. However, the receptor that mediates neuroprotection is unknown. As a synthetic double-stranded RNA, poly-ICLC may bind endosomal Toll-like receptor 3 or one of the cytosolic retinoic acid-inducible gene-I-like receptor family members, retinoic acid-inducible gene-I, or melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5. Activation of these receptors culminates in type I interferons (IFN-α/β) induction - a response required for poly-ICLC-induced neuroprotection. In this study, we investigate the receptor required for poly-ICLC-induced neuroprotection. Methods - Toll-like receptor 3, melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5-, and IFN-promoter stimulator 1-deficient mice were treated with poly-ICLC 24 hours before middle cerebral artery occlusion. Infarct volume was measured 24 hours after stroke to identify the receptor signaling pathways involved in protection. IFN-α/β induction was measured in plasma samples collected 6 hours after poly-ICLC treatment. IFN-β-deficient mice were used to test the requirement of IFN-β for poly-ICLC-induced neuroprotection. Mice were treated with recombinant IFN-α-A to test the role of IFN-α as a potential mediator of neuroprotection. Results - Poly-ICLC induction of both neuroprotection and systemic IFN-α/β requires the cytosolic receptor melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5 and the adapter molecule IFN-promoter stimulator 1, whereas it is independent of Toll-like receptor 3. IFN-β is not required for poly-ICLC-induced neuroprotection. IFN-α treatment protects against stroke. Conclusions - Poly-ICLC preconditioning is mediated by melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5 and its adaptor molecule IFN-promoter stimulator 1. This is the first evidence that a cytosolic receptor can mediate neuroprotection, providing a new target for the development of therapeutic agents to protect the brain from ischemic injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-266
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • interferons
  • ischemia
  • ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • poly ICLC
  • toll-like receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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