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Infarctus cérébral et plasticité : focus sur le BDNF

Abstract : Functional recovery after ischemic stroke largely involves brain plasticity and more accurately its ability to reorganize the neuronal networks spared by the infarct. Studies conducted on animals using different ischemic stroke models have demonstrated that plastic changes are induced by BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). Hence, increasing levels of BDNF in the brain is considered a promising therapeutic strategy to reduce post-stroke impairments. In this context, our work had 2 aims: 1) In a rat model, to identify cells involved in the over-production of BDNF and to evaluate the pertinence of the measurement of circulating BDNF levels to estimate brain BDNF levels; 2) In ischemic stroke patients, to study the effectiveness of fluoxetin on 3-month motor recovery. This drug is a selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor commercialized as an antidepressant treatment that is not only able to increase brain production of BDNF, but also to stimulate post-lesion plasticity. Animal studies were performed on rats that underwent unilateral embolization of the brain with various amounts of carbonized calibrated (50 µm) micropsheres in order to mimick the large panel of brain injury observed in humans. BDNF levels were measured in the brain and the blood (plasma and serum, ELISA method) before and after (4, 24h, and 8d) embolization. Our results show that:-The production of BDNF was more intense and longer lasting in the embolized than in the non-embolized hemisphere, and this production was independent of the degree of embolization, an indirect marker of brain injury.-Several non-neuronal cells become a non-negligible source of BDNF after ischemia, particularly endothelial cells and microglia before 24h, and astrocytes at 8d.-Brain and circulating levels of BDNF did not correlate, but a correlation between plasma BDNF at 4h and the degree of embolization was noted.Our clinical study was a randomized placebo-controlled trial that evaluated the efficacy of fluoxetine (20mg/d, oral route, over 3 months, and starting between 5 and 10d after stroke onset) in patients with moderate to severe motor impairment measured by the Fugl-Meyer motor scale (n=59 in each group). Our results showed a greater improvement in motor recovery under fluoxetin than placebo.To conclude, our work underlines the fact that treatments able to increase BDNF levels and post-lesion brain plasticity are of interest to improve the prognosis after stroke. We have shown, for the first time, that endothelial cells are a potential target for these treatments. Our study also calls into question the widespread idea according to which circulating levels of BDNF vary in the same way as levels of BDNF in the brain.
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Yannick Béjot. Infarctus cérébral et plasticité : focus sur le BDNF. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université de Bourgogne, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011DIJOMU01⟩. ⟨tel-00939908⟩

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