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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Journal of neuroinflammation

2012 Sep 21;9:222.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1186/1742-2094-9-222. Copyright © BioMed Central


BACKGROUND: M1 and M2 cells are two major subsets of human macrophages that exert opposite effects on the inflammatory response. This study aims to investigate the role of macrophage M1/M2 imbalance and mast cells in the progression of human cerebral aneurysms to rupture.

METHODS: Ten patients with cerebral aneurysms (five ruptured and five unruptured) underwent microsurgical clipping. During the procedure, a segment of the aneurysm dome was resected and immunostained with monoclonal antibodies for M1 cells (anti-HLA DR), M2 cells (anti-CD 163), and mast cells (anti-tryptase clone AA). A segment of the superficial temporal artery (STA) was also removed and immunostained with monoclonal antibodies for M1, M2, and mast cells.

RESULTS: All ten aneurysm tissues stained positive for M1, M2, and mast cells. M1 and M2 cells were present in equal proportions in unruptured aneurysms. This contrasted with a marked predominance of M1 over M2 cells in ruptured aneurysms (p = 0.045). Mast cells were also prominently upregulated in ruptured aneurysms (p = 0.001). Few M1 and M2 cells were present in STA samples.

CONCLUSIONS: M1/M2 macrophages and mast cells are found in human cerebral aneurysms; however, M1 and mast cell expression seems to markedly increase in ruptured aneurysms. These findings suggest that macrophage M1/M2 imbalance and upregulation of mast cells may have a role in the progression of cerebral aneurysms to rupture.

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