Rac1 is a critical mediator of endothelium-derived neurotrophic activity

Naoki Sawada, Hyung Hwan Kim, Michael A. Moskowitz, James K. Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


The therapeutic potential of neurotrophic factors has been hampered by their inability to achieve adequate tissue penetration. Brain blood vessels, however, could be an alternative target for neuro-salvage therapies by virtue of their close proximity to neurons. Here we show that hemizygous deletion of Rac1 in mouse endothelial cells (ECs) attenuates brain injury and edema after focal cerebral ischemia. Microarray analysis of Rac1+/- ECs revealed enrichment of stress response genes, basement membrane components, and neurotrophic factors that could affect neuronal survival. Consistent with these expression profiles, endothelial Rac1 hemizygosity enhanced antioxidative and endothelial barrier capacities and potentiated paracrine neuroprotective activities through the up-regulation of the neurotrophic factor, artemin. Endothelial Rac1, therefore, could be an important therapeutic target for promoting endothelial barrier integrity and neurotrophic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScience signaling
Issue number61
StatePublished - Mar 10 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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