Poly-Arginine Peptide-18 (R18) Reduces Brain Injury and Improves Functional Outcomes in a Nonhuman Primate Stroke Model

Bruno P. Meloni, Yining Chen, Kathleen A. Harrison, Joseph Y. Nashed, David J. Blacker, Samantha M. South, Ryan S. Anderton, Frank L. Mastaglia, Andrew Winterborn, Neville W. Knuckey, Douglas J. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Poly-arginine peptide-18 (R18) is neuroprotective in different rodent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) stroke models. In this study, we examined whether R18 treatment could reduce ischemic brain injury and improve functional outcome in a nonhuman primate (NHP) stroke model. A stroke was induced in male cynomolgus macaques by MCAO distal to the orbitofrontal branch of the MCA through a right pterional craniotomy, using a 5-mm titanium aneurysm clip for 90 min. R18 (1000 nmol/kg) or saline vehicle was administered intravenously 60 min after the onset of MCAO. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; perfusion-weighted imaging, diffusion-weighted imaging, or T2-weighted imaging) of the brain was performed 15 min, 24 h, and 28 days post-MCAO, and neurological outcome was assessed using the NHP stroke scale (NHPSS). Experimental endpoint was 28 days post-MCAO, treatments were randomized, and all procedures were performed blinded to treatment status. R18 treatment reduced infarct lesion volume by up to 65.2% and 69.7% at 24 h and 28 days poststroke, respectively. Based on NHPSS scores, R18-treated animals displayed reduced functional deficits. This study confirms the effectiveness of R18 in reducing the severity of ischemic brain injury and improving functional outcomes after stroke in a NHP model, and provides further support for its clinical development as a stroke neuroprotective therapeutic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-634
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


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