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Preventative, but not post-stroke, inhibition of CD36 attenuates brain swelling in hyperlipidemic stroke.
The lack of inclusion of comorbidities in animal models of stroke may underlie the limited development of therapy in stroke. Previous studies in mice deficient of CD36, an immune receptor, indicated its contribution to stroke-induced inflammation and injury in hyperlipidemic conditions. The current study, therefore, tested whether pharmacological inhibition of CD36 provides neuroprotection in hyperlipidemic stroke. The hyperlipidemic mice subjected to stroke showed an exacerbation of infarct size and profound brain swelling. However, post-stroke treatment with CD36 inhibitors did not reduce, and in some cases worsened, acute stroke outcome, suggesting potential benefits of elevated CD36 in the post-stroke brain in a hyperlipidemic condition. On the other hand, chronic treatment of a CD36 inhibitor prior to stroke significantly reduced stroke-induced brain swelling. There was a trend toward infarct reduction, although it did not reach statistical significance. The observed benefit of preventative CD36 inhibition is in line with previously reported smaller infarct volume and swelling in CD36 KO mice. Thus, the current findings suggest that insights gained from the genetic models should be carefully considered before the implementation of pharmacological interventions, as a potential therapeutic strategy may depend on preventative treatment or a post-stroke acute treatment paradigm.