Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) is a protein that is secreted in the brain and performs many cellular functions (like the control of cell growth, cell proliferation, cell differentiation and apoptosis) and helped in recovering the patient from brain and stroke inflammation.
Intracerebral hemorrhage is a type of stroke characterized by the rupture of a blood vessel within the brain. When the brain is exposed to blood, local immune cells become activated, triggering inflammation that promotes ongoing injury in the days and weeks after the initial stroke event.
In the JCI, work from Laura Sansing's lab at Yale School of Medicine examined the pathways in the brain that drive injury-producing inflammation. They have identified that the protein TGF-β1 plays a pivotal role in activating immune system-mediated damage after intracerebral hemorrhage.
Treating mice with TGF-β1 immediately after the initial injury reduced pro-inflammatory signals and improved motor function compared to untreated mice.
In a patient population, they also observed that higher bloodstream levels of TGF-β1 in the first 3 days following intracerebral hemorrhage predicted better outcomes 3 months into recovery.
Together, these results suggest that targeting the TGF-β1 pathway may have protective effects in individuals recovering from stroke and brain injury.