N-Acetyl-Seryl-Aspartyl-Lysyl-Proline Augments Thrombolysis of tPA (Tissue-Type Plasminogen Activator) in Aged Rats After Stroke

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Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation


Background and Purpose- Stroke is a leading cause of disability worldwide, mainly affecting the elderly. However, preclinical studies in aged ischemic animals are limited. N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline (AcSDKP) is a naturally occurring tetrapeptide with vascular-protective properties. The present study investigated the effect of AcSDKP on tPA (tissue-type plasminogen activator)-induced thrombolysis in aged rats after ischemic stroke. Methods- Aged male rats (18 months) were subjected to embolic middle cerebral artery occlusion. Rats subjected to 4 hours of middle cerebral artery occlusion were randomized into the following groups: (1) AcSDKP; (2) tPA; (3) AcSDKP in combination with tPA; and (4) saline. Neurological deficits, cerebral microvascular patency and integrity, and infarction were examined at 1 day and 7 days after middle cerebral artery occlusion. In vitro experiments were performed to examine the effect of AcSDKP on aged cerebral endothelial cell permeability. Results- Compared with saline, AcSDKP, or tPA as monotherapy did not have any therapeutic effects, whereas AcSDKP in combination with tPA significantly reduced cerebral tissue infarction and improved neurological outcome without increasing cerebral hemorrhage. Concurrently, the combination treatment significantly augmented microvascular perfusion and reduced thrombosis and blood-brain barrier leakage. In vitro, compared with cerebral endothelial cells from ischemic adult rats, the endothelial cells from ischemic aged rats exhibited significantly increased leakage. AcSDKP suppressed tPA-induced aged endothelial cell leakage and reduced expression of ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule 1) and NF (nuclear factor)-κB. Conclusions- The present study provides evidence for the therapeutic efficacy of AcSDKP in combination tPA for the treatment of embolic stroke in aged rats at 4 hours after stroke onset. AcSDKP likely acts on cerebral endothelial cells to enhance the benefits of tPA by increasing tissue perfusion and augmenting the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. Visual Overview- An online visual overview is available for this article.

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ePub ahead of print





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