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Antioxidants (Basel)


The restoration of cerebral blood flow (CBF) to achieve brain tissue oxygenation (PbtO2 ) is the primary treatment for ischemic stroke, a significant cause of adult mortality and disability worldwide. Nitric oxide (NO) and its bioactive s-nitrosylated (SNO) reservoirs, such as s-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), induce hypoxic vasodilation to enhance CBF during ischemia. The endogenous pool of SNOs/GSNO is enhanced via the activation of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS/NOS3) and by the suppression of class III alcohol dehydrogenase 5 (ADH5), also known as GSNO reductase (GSNOR). Remote ischemic conditioning (RIC), which augments NOS3 activity and SNO, is an emerging therapy in acute stroke. However, RIC has so far shown neutral effects in stroke clinical trials. As the majority of stroke patients are presented with endothelial dysfunctions and comorbidities, we tested the hypothesis that NOS3 dysfunction and diabetes will abolish the protective effects of RIC therapy in stroke, and the prior inhibition of GSNOR will turn RIC protective. Our data demonstrate that RIC during thrombotic stroke failed to enhance the CBF and the benefits of thrombolysis in NOS3 mutant (NOS3+/−) mice, a genetic model of NOS3 dysfunction. Interestingly, thrombotic stroke in diabetic mice enhanced the activity of GSNOR as early as 3 h post-stroke without decreasing the plasma nitrite (NO2 −). In thrombotic stroke, neither a pharmacological inhibitor of GSNOR (GRI) nor RIC therapy alone was protective in diabetic mice. However, prior treatment with GRI followed by RIC enhanced the CBF and improved recovery. In a reperfused stroke model, the GRI–RIC combination therapy in diabetic mice augmented PbtO2 , a translatory signature of successful microvascular reflow. In addition, RIC therapy unexpectedly increased the inflammatory markers at 6 h post-stroke in diabetic stroke that were downregulated in combination with GRI while improving the outcomes. Thus, we conclude that preexisting NOS3 dysfunctions due to comorbidities may neutralize the benefits of RIC in stroke, which can be turned protective in combination with GRI. Our findings may support the future clinical trial of RIC in comorbid stroke. Further studies are warranted to test and develop SNO reservoirs as the blood-associated biomarker to monitor the response and efficacy of RIC therapy in stroke.

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