(precondition) its response to acute ischemia from that of induced cell injury signaling cascades to induction of neuroprotective pathways (tolerance). Such endogenous neuroprotection occurs through Toll Like Receptor (TLR) signaling which reprograms an inflammatory (injurious) response to stroke into an antiinflammatory (neuroprotective) response. We offer the preferred agonists (CpG ODNs and imiquimod - IMQ) of TLR 9 and 7 respectively as lead compounds for prophylactic neuroprotection against stroke. Although robust rodent data have been produced, past and recent translational failures require additional preclinical evaluation. Accordingly, we have developed a new primate stroke model for assessment of putative pharmacotherapeutics and propose to perform rigorous trials of our recently discovered neuroprotectants to establish essential effacy and pharmacokinetic data. Thus our preliminary studies support new robust neuroprotective strategies for high-risk stroke patients to be further tested in the non-human primate via:
Aim 1. Determine the optimal dose to achieve neuroprotective efficacy for TLR9 (K- and D-mix CpG ODNs) and TLR7 (IMQ) candidate drugs as prophylactic therapy in a NHP model of cortical stroke.
Aim 2. Determine the time window of neuroprotective efficacy for K- and D-mix CpG ODNs and IMQ as prophylactic therapy in a NHP model of cortical stroke.
Aim 3. Determine neuroprotective efficacy CpG ODN (K and D mix) and IMQ as prophylactic therapy in a model of cortical stroke in the aged NHP.
Aim 4. Determine the neuroprotective efficacy of repeated administration of CpG ODN (K- and D-mix) and IMQ as prophylactic therapy in a NHP model of cortical stroke.
Aim 5. Determine the neuroprotective efficacy of the optimal CpG ODN (K- and D-mix) and IMQ as prophylactic therapy in a model of cortical stroke in female NHPs.
Aim 6. Determine pharmacokinetic and toxicity profiles of CpG ODN (K- and D-mix) and IMQ as potential stroke therapeutics.
Aim 7. Submit an IND application for the optimal TLR candidate based on efficacy, pharmacokinetics and toxicity profiles.

Public Health Relevance

Many drug treatments to protect the brain from stroke have been tried and failed. This proposal offers a new approach based on the brain's own endogenous neuroprotective program. We will investigate 3 new drugs that have been shown to be safe in humans and test them as prophylaxis against ischemic brain injury. We will first test these drugs in a relevant primate model of stroke before moving to a clinical trial to treat humans that are at very high risk for future stroke.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Initial Review Group (NSD)
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Oregon Health and Science University
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Stevens, Susan L; Liu, Tao; Bahjat, Frances Rena et al. (2018) Preconditioning in the Rhesus Macaque Induces a Proteomic Signature Following Cerebral Ischemia that Is Associated with Neuroprotection. Transl Stroke Res :
Bahjat, Frances Rena; Alexander West, G; Kohama, Steven G et al. (2017) Preclinical Development of a Prophylactic Neuroprotective Therapy for the Preventive Treatment of Anticipated Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury. Transl Stroke Res 8:322-333
Li, Songlin; Nie, Esther H; Yin, Yuqin et al. (2015) GDF10 is a signal for axonal sprouting and functional recovery after stroke. Nat Neurosci 18:1737-45
Gesuete, Raffaella; Kohama, Steven G; Stenzel-Poore, Mary P (2014) Toll-like receptors and ischemic brain injury. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 73:378-86
Stevens, Susan L; Vartanian, Keri B; Stenzel-Poore, Mary P (2014) Reprogramming the response to stroke by preconditioning. Stroke 45:2527-31
Bahjat, Frances R; Gesuete, Raffaella; Stenzel-Poore, Mary P (2013) Steps to translate preconditioning from basic research to the clinic. Transl Stroke Res 4:89-103
Urbanski, Henryk F; Kohama, Steven G; West, G Alexander et al. (2012) Changes in spontaneous activity assessed by accelerometry correlate with extent of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury in the nonhuman primate. Transl Stroke Res 3:442-51
Bahjat, Frances Rena; Williams-Karnesky, Rebecca L; Kohama, Steven G et al. (2011) Proof of concept: pharmacological preconditioning with a Toll-like receptor agonist protects against cerebrovascular injury in a primate model of stroke. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 31:1229-42
Vartanian, Kb; Stenzel-Poore, Mp (2010) Toll-like receptor tolerance as a mechanism for neuroprotection. Transl Stroke Res 1:252-260