Pneumonia is the most frequent severe medical complication after stroke. An overactivation of the cholinergic signaling after stroke contributes to immunosuppression and the development of spontaneous pneumonia caused by Gram-negative pathogens. The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) has already been identified as an important mediator of the anti-inflammatory pathway after stroke. However, whether the α2, α5 and α9/10 nAChR expressed in the lung also play a role in suppression of pulmonary innate immunity after stroke is unknown. In the present study, we investigate the impact of various nAChRs on aspiration-induced pneumonia after stroke. Therefore, α2, α5, α7 and α9/10 nAChR knockout (KO) mice and wild type (WT) littermates were infected with Streptococcus pneumoniae
) three days after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). One day after infection pathogen clearance, cellularity in lung and spleen, cytokine secretion in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and alveolar-capillary barrier were investigated. Here, we found that deficiency of various nAChRs does not contribute to an enhanced clearance of a Gram-positive pathogen causing post-stroke pneumonia in mice. In conclusion, these findings suggest that a single nAChR is not sufficient to mediate the impaired pulmonary defense against S. pneumoniae
after experimental stroke.
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