Remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) is a promising therapeutic approach for ischemic stroke patients. It has been proven that RIC reduces infarct size and improves functional outcomes. RIC can be applied either before ischemia (pre-conditioning; RIPreC), during ischemia (per-conditioning; RIPerC) or after ischemia (post-conditioning; RIPostC). Our aim was to systematically determine the efficacy of RIC in reducing infarct volumes and define the cellular pathways involved in preclinical animal models of ischemic stroke. A systematic search in three databases yielded 50 peer-review articles. Data were analyzed using random effects models and results expressed as percentage of reduction in infarct size (95% CI). A meta-regression was also performed to evaluate the effects of covariates on the pooled effect-size. 95.3% of analyzed experiments were carried out in rodents. Thirty-nine out of the 64 experiments studied RIPostC (61%), sixteen examined RIPreC (25%) and nine tested RIPerC (14%). In all studies, RIC was shown to reduce infarct volume (− 38.36%; CI − 42.09 to − 34.62%) when compared to controls. There was a significant interaction caused by species. Short cycles in mice significantly reduces infarct volume while in rats the opposite occurs. RIPreC was shown to be the most effective strategy in mice. The present meta-analysis suggests that RIC is more efficient in transient ischemia, using a smaller number of RIC cycles, applying larger length of limb occlusion, and employing barbiturates anesthetics. There is a preclinical evidence for RIC, it is safe and effective. However, the exact cellular pathways and underlying mechanisms are still not fully determined, and its definition will be crucial for the understanding of RIC mechanism of action.
Cellular neuroscience; Molecular neuroscience; Neuro-vascular interactions
Torres-Querol C, Quintana-Luque M, Arque G, Purroy F. Preclinical evidence of remote ischemic conditioning in ischemic stroke, a metanalysis update. Sci Rep. 2021 Dec 9;11:23706.
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