Delivery of anti-platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule single-chain variable fragment-urokinase fusion protein to the cerebral vasculature lyses arterial clots and attenuates postischemic brain edema
Drug Delivery Systems
Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator
Efficacy and safety of current means to prevent cerebrovascular thrombosis in patients at high risk of stroke are suboptimal. In theory, anchoring fibrinolytic plasminogen activators to the luminal surface of the cerebral endothelium might arrest formation of occlusive clots in this setting. We tested this approach using the recombinant construct antiplatelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM) single-chain variable fragment (scFv)-urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), fusing low-molecular-weight single-chain urokinase-type plasminogen activator with a scFv of an antibody directed to the stably expressed endothelial surface determinant PECAM-1, implicated in inflammation and thrombosis. Studies in mice showed that scFv-uPA, but not unconjugated uPA 1) accumulates in the brain after intravascular injection, 2) lyses clots lodged in the cerebral arterial vasculature without hemorrhagic complications, 3) provides rapid and stable cerebral reperfusion, and 4) alleviates post-thrombotic brain edema. Effective and safe thromboprophylaxis in the cerebral arterial circulation by anti-PECAM scFv-uPA represents a prototype of a new paradigm to prevent recurrent cerebrovascular thrombosis.