Serum detection of blood brain barrier injury in subjects with a history of stroke and transient ischemic attack

Scott French, Juan Arias, Ikeoluwapo Bolakale-Rufai, Summan Zahra, Kaneez Zahra Rubab Khakwani, Edward J. Bedrick, Geidy E. Serrano, Thomas G. Beach, Eric Reiman, Craig Weinkauf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Stroke and transient ischemic attack may have long-term negative effects on the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and promote endothelial inflammation, both of which could increase neurodegeneration and dementia risk beyond the cell death associated with the index event. Methods: Serum from 88 postmortem subjects in the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders were analyzed by sandwich ELISA for specific biomarkers to investigate the effects of cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs) on BBB integrity and endothelial activation. Statistical analyses were performed using the Mann-Whitney U Test, Spearman rank correlation, and linear/logistic regressions adjusted for potential confounders; a P-value < .05 was considered significant for all analyses. Results: Serum PDGFRẞ, a putative biomarker of BBB injury, was significantly increased in subjects with vs without a history of CVA who had similar cardiovascular risk factors (P < .01). This difference was stable after adjusting for age, hypertension, and other potential confounders in regression analysis (odds ratio, 27.02; 95% confidence interval, 2.61-411.7; P < .01). In addition, PDGFRẞ was positively associated with VCAM-1, a biomarker of endothelial inflammation (ρ = 0.42; P < .01). Conclusions: Our data suggest that patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack have lasting changes in the BBB. Still more, this demonstrates the utility of PDGFRẞ as a serum-based biomarker of BBB physiology, a potentially powerful tool in studying the role of the BBB in various neurodegenerative diseases and COVID infection sequelae. Clinical Relevance: Our data demonstrate the utility of serum PDGFRẞ, a putative biomarker of BBB integrity in the setting of stroke and TIA (CVA). A serum biomarker of BBB integrity could be a useful tool to detect early BBB damage and allow prospective work to study how such damage affects long-term neurodegenerative risk. Since BBB disruption occurs early in ADRD development, it could be monitored to help better understand disease progression and involvement of vascular pathways in ADRD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100206
JournalJVS-Vascular Science
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Blood-based biomarkers
  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Endothelial inflammation
  • Ischemic attack
  • Stroke
  • Transient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Serum detection of blood brain barrier injury in subjects with a history of stroke and transient ischemic attack'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this