1. Key Laboratory of Developmental Genes and Human Disease, Ministry of Education; Medical School, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
2. Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular and Functional Imaging, Department of Radiology, Zhongda Hospital, Medical School, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
Ischemic stroke is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The expression of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) molecules in the central nervous system, which are silenced under normal physiological conditions, have been reported to be induced by injury stimulation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether MHC-I molecules could serve as molecular targets for the acute phase of ischemic stroke and to assess whether a high-affinity peptide specific for MHC-I molecules could be applied in the near-infrared imaging of cerebral ischemic mice. Quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting were used to detect the expression of MHC-I molecules in two mouse models of cerebral ischemic stroke and an in vitro model of ischemia. The NetMHC 4.0 server was used to screen a high-affinity peptide specific for mouse MHC-I molecules. The Rosetta program was used to identify the specificity and affinity of the screened peptide (histocompatibility-2 binding peptide, H2BP). The results demonstrated that MHC-I molecules could serve as molecular targets for the acute phase of ischemic stroke. Cy5.5-H2BP molecular probes could be applied in the near-infrared imaging of cerebral ischemic mice. Research on the expression of MHC-I molecules in the acute phase after ischemia and MHC-I-targeted imaging may not only be helpful for understanding the mechanism of ischemic and hypoxic brain injury and repair but also has potential application value in the imaging of ischemic stroke.
Keywords: Ischemic stroke, MHC-I molecules, H2BP peptide, molecular imaging.