Reframing the biological basis of neuroprotection using functional genomics: Differentially weighted, time-dependent multifactor pathogenesis of human ischemic brain damage

William A. Kofke, Yue Ren, John G. Augoustides, Hongzhe Li, Katherine Nathanson, Robert Siman, Qing Cheng Meng, Weiming Bu, Sukanya Yandrawatthana, Guy Kositratna, Cecilia Kim, Joseph E. Bavaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Neuroprotection studies are generally unable to demonstrate efficacy in humans. Our specific hypothesis is that multiple pathophysiologic pathways, of variable importance, contribute to ischemic brain damage. As a corollary to this, we discuss the broad hypothesis that a multifaceted approach will improve the probability of efficacious neuroprotection. But to properly test this hypothesis the nature and importance of the multiple contributing pathways needs elucidation. Our aim is to demonstrate, using functional genomics, in human cardiac surgery procedures associated with cerebral ischemia, that the pathogenesis of perioperative human ischemic brain damage involves the function of multiple variably weighted proteins involving several pathways. We then use these data and literature to develop a proposal for rational design of human neuroprotection protocols. Methods: Ninety-four patients undergoing deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA) and/or aortic valve replacement surgery had brain damage biomarkers, S100β and neurofilament H (NFH), assessed at baseline, 1 and 24 h post-cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) with analysis for association with 92 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (selected by co-author WAK) related to important proteins involved in pathogenesis of cerebral ischemia. Results: At the nominal significance level of 0.05, changes in S100β and in NFH at 1 and 24 h post-CPB were associated with multiple SNPs involving several prospectively determined pathophysiologic pathways, but were not individually significant after multiple comparison adjustments. Variable weights for the several evaluated SNPs are apparent on regression analysis and, notably, are dissimilar related to the two biomarkers and over time post CPB. Based on our step-wise regression model, at 1 h post-CPB, SOD2, SUMO4, and GP6 are related to relative change of NFH while TNF, CAPN10, NPPB, and SERPINE1 are related to the relative change of S100B. At 24 h post-CPB, ADRA2A, SELE, and BAX are related to the relative change of NFH while SLC4A7, HSPA1B, and FGA are related to S100B. Conclusions: In support of the proposed hypothesis, association SNP data suggest function of specific disparate proteins, as reflected by genetic variation, may be more important than others with variation at different post-insult times after human brain ischemia. Such information may support rational design of post-insult time-sensitive multifaceted neuroprotective therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number497
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Issue numberJUN
StatePublished - Jun 26 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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