Impact of poly-arginine peptides R18D and R18 on alteplase and tenecteplase thrombolysis in vitro, and neuroprotective stability to proteolysis

Bruno P. Meloni, David J. Blacker, Adam B. Edwards, Neville W. Knuckey

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The poly-arginine peptides R18D and R18 represent novel potential neuroprotective treatments for acute ischaemic stroke. Here we examined whether R18D and R18 had any significant effects on the thrombolytic activity of alteplase (tPA) and tenecteplase (TNK) on clots formed from whole blood in an in vitro thrombolysis plate assay. R18D and R18 were examined at concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 µM during the 1-h thrombolytic assay. We also included the well-characterised neuroprotective NA-1 peptide as a control. R18D, R18 and NA-1 all reduced tPA or TNK percentage clot lysis by 0–9.35%, 0–3.44% and 0–4.8%, respectively. R18D, R18 and NA-1 had a modest and variable effect on the lag time, increasing the time to the commencement of thrombolysis by 0–9.9 min, 0–5.53 min and 0–7.16 min, respectively. Lastly, R18 and NA-1 appeared to increase the maximal activity of the thrombolysis reaction. In addition, the in vitro anti-excitotoxic neuroprotective efficacy of R18D and R18 was not affected by pre-incubation for 1–2 h or overnight with tPA or TNK, whereas only R18D retained high anti-excitotoxic neuroprotective efficacy when pre-incubated in a synthetic trypsin (TrypLE Express). The present in vitro findings suggest that neither R18D or R18 when co-administered with the thrombolytic inducing agents tPA or TNK are likely to have a significant impact when used clinically during clot thrombolysis and confirm the superior proteolytic stability of the R18D peptide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-182
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis
Issue number1
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

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