Ischemia–reperfusion injury impairs the efficacy of reperfusion therapy after ischemic stroke. Cyclophilin D (CypD)-mediated openings of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) and subsequent monocyte-mediated inflammation are considered as major mechanisms of reperfusion injury. However, no medical therapies are currently available. Therefore, we have tested a hypothesis that simultaneous targeting of mPTP and inflammation confers substantial neuroprotection after cerebral ischemia–reperfusion. To address this point, we prepared CypD knockout mice, C–C chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) knockout mice and CypD/CCR2 double knockout mice. These mice were subjected to 60 min transient cerebral ischemia by occluding middle cerebral arteries. Neurological deficits evaluated 3 days after reperfusion were significantly attenuated in CypD/CCR2 double knockout mice as compared to wild-type mice and other single knockout mice. Then, we have prepared polymeric nanoparticles containing cyclosporine A (CsA-NPs) and pitavastatin (Pitava-NPs), targeting mPTP opening and inflammation, respectively. Simultaneous administration of CsA-NP and Pitava-NP at the time of reperfusion also decreased infarct size and attenuated neurological deficits as compared to control nanoparticles and single administration of CsA-NPs or Pitava-NPs. These results indicate that simultaneous targeting of the mPTP opening and monocyte-mediated inflammation could be a novel strategy for better neurological outcomes in patients with ischemic stroke.
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