The spleen contributes to stroke induced neurodegeneration through interferon gamma signaling

Hilary A. Seifert, Christopher C. Leonardo, Aaron A. Hall, Derrick D. Rowe, Lisa A. Collier, Stanley A. Benkovic, Alison E. Willing, Keith R. Pennypacker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Delayed neuronal death associated with stroke has been increasingly linked to the immune response to the injury. Splenectomy prior to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) is neuroprotective and significantly reduces neuroinflammation. The present study investigated whether splenic signaling occurs through interferon gamma (IFNγ). IFNγ was elevated early in spleens but later in the brains of rats followingMCAO. Splenectomy decreased the amount of IFNγ in the infarct post-MCAO. Systemic administration of recombinant IFNγ abolished the protective effects of splenectomy with a concurrent increase in INFγ expression in the brain. These results suggest a role for spleen-derived IFNγ in stroke pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalMetabolic brain disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain ischemia
  • Cytokine
  • MCAO
  • Microglia/macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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