The potassium channel Kv1.3 as a therapeutic target for immunocytoprotection after reperfusion

Yi-Je Chen, Yanjun Cui, Latika Singh, Heike Wulff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3, which is expressed on activated, disease-associated microglia and memory T cells, constitutes an attractive target for immunocytoprotection after endovascular thrombectomy (EVT). Using young male mice and rats we previously demonstrated that the Kv1.3 blocker PAP-1 when started 12 h after reperfusion dose-dependently reduces infarction and improves neurological deficit on day 8. However, these proof-of-concept findings are of limited translational value because the majority of strokes occur in patients over 65 and, when considering overall lifetime risk, in females. Here, we therefore tested whether Kv1.3 deletion or delayed pharmacological therapy would be beneficial in females and aged animals. Methods: Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO, 60 min) was induced in 16-week-old and 80-week-old male and female wild-type C57BL/6J and Kv1.3−/− mice. Stroke outcomes were assessed daily with the 14-score tactile and proprioceptive limp placing test and on day 8 before sacrifice by T2-weighted MRI. Young and old female mice were treated twice daily with 40 mg/kg PAP-1 starting 12 h after reperfusion. Microglia/macrophage activation and T-cell infiltration were evaluated in whole slide scans. Results: Kv1.3 deletion provided no significant benefit in young females but improved outcomes in young males, old males, and old females compared with wild-type controls of the same sex. Delayed PAP-1 treatment improved outcomes in both young and old females. In old females, Kv1.3 deletion and PAP-1 treatment significantly reduced Iba-1 and CD3 staining intensity in the ipsilateral hemisphere. Interpretation: Our preclinical studies using aged and female mice further validate Kv1.3 inhibitors as potential adjunctive treatments for reperfusion therapy in stroke by providing both genetic and pharmacological verification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2070-2082
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Clinical and Translational Neurology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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