The Key Regulator of Necroptosis, RIP1 Kinase, Contributes to the Formation of Astrogliosis and Glial Scar in Ischemic Stroke

Yong Ming Zhu, Liang Lin, Chao Wei, Yi Guo, Yuan Qin, Zhong Sheng Li, Thomas A. Kent, Claire E. McCoy, Zhan Xiang Wang, Yong Ni, Xian Yong Zhou, Hui Ling Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Necroptosis initiation relies on the receptor-interacting protein 1 kinase (RIP1K). We recently reported that genetic and pharmacological inhibition of RIP1K produces protection against ischemic stroke-induced astrocytic injury. However, the role of RIP1K in ischemic stroke-induced formation of astrogliosis and glial scar remains unknown. Here, in a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) rat model and an oxygen and glucose deprivation and reoxygenation (OGD/Re)-induced astrocytic injury model, we show that RIP1K was significantly elevated in the reactive astrocytes. Knockdown of RIP1K or delayed administration of RIP1K inhibitor Nec-1 down-regulated the glial scar markers, improved ischemic stroke-induced necrotic morphology and neurologic deficits, and reduced the volume of brain atrophy. Moreover, knockdown of RIP1K attenuated astrocytic cell death and proliferation and promoted neuronal axonal generation in a neuron and astrocyte co-culture system. Both vascular endothelial growth factor D (VEGF-D) and its receptor VEGFR-3 were elevated in the reactive astrocytes; simultaneously, VEGF-D was increased in the medium of astrocytes exposed to OGD/Re. Knockdown of RIP1K down-regulated VEGF-D gene and protein levels in the reactive astrocytes. Treatment with 400 ng/ml recombinant VEGF-D induced the formation of glial scar; conversely, the inhibitor of VEGFR-3 suppressed OGD/Re-induced glial scar formation. RIP3K and MLKL may be involved in glial scar formation. Taken together, these results suggest that RIP1K participates in the formation of astrogliosis and glial scar via impairment of normal astrocyte responses and enhancing the astrocytic VEGF-D/VEGFR-3 signaling pathways. Inhibition of RIP1K promotes the brain functional recovery partially via suppressing the formation of astrogliosis and glial scar. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-1017
Number of pages27
JournalTranslational Stroke Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Astrocyte
  • Glial scar
  • Ischemic stroke
  • RIP1 kinase
  • VEGF-D
  • VEGFR-3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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