Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research offers new targets for stroke treatments

Date:
December 20, 2012
Source:
University of Georgia
Summary:
New research identifies the mechanisms responsible for regenerating blood vessels in the brain. Looking for ways to improve outcomes for stroke patients, researchers used candesartan, a commonly prescribed medication for lowering blood pressure, to identify specific growth factors in the brain responsible for recovery after a stroke.

New research from the University of Georgia identifies the mechanisms responsible for regenerating blood vessels in the brain.

Related Articles


Looking for ways to improve outcomes for stroke patients, researchers led by the UGA College of Pharmacy assistant dean for clinical programs Susan Fagan used candesartan, a commonly prescribed medication for lowering blood pressure, to identify specific growth factors in the brain responsible for recovery after a stroke.

The results were published online Dec. 4 in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Although candesartan has been shown to protect the brain after a stroke, its use is generally avoided because lowering a person's blood pressure quickly after a stroke can cause problems-like decreasing much-needed oxygen to the brain-during the critical period of time following a stroke.

"The really unique thing we found is that candesartan can increase the secretion of brain derived neurotrophic factor, and the effect is separate from the blood pressure lowering effect," said study coauthor Ahmed Alhusban, who is a doctoral candidate in the College of Pharmacy. "This will support a new area for treatments of stroke and other brain injury."

Alhusban and Fagan worked with Anna Kozak, a research scientist in the college, and Adviye Ergul, a professor and director of the physiology graduate program at Georgia Health Sciences University. They are the first to show that the positive effects of candesartan on brain blood vessel growth are caused by brain derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF.

The research shows that when candesartan blocks the angiotensin II type 1 receptor, which lowers blood pressure, it stimulates the AT2 receptor and increases the secretion of BDNF, which encourages brain repair through the growth of new blood vessels.

"BDNF is a key player in learning and memory," said Fagan, the Albert W. Jowdy Professor. "A reduction of BDNF in the brain has been associated with Alzheimer's disease and depression, so increasing this growth factor with a common medication is exciting."

AT2 is a brain receptor responsible for angiogenesis, or the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. Angiogenesis is a normal and vital process in human growth and development-as well as in healing.

For the study, the investigators used both living rat models and human brain cells. Groups were treated with either a low or high dose of angiotensin II alone or in combination with a dose of candesartan. Candesartan promoted angiogenesis, but this effect was entirely prevented by blocking BDNF or inactivating the AT2 receptor. This method identified the involvement of the AT2 receptor in BDNF secretion.

"This target is a key to enhance recovery and reduce the subsequent disability in stroke victims," said Alhusban. "We know angiogenesis proteins are upregulated in the week after a brain injury. Stimulation of the AT2 receptor with a medication is likely to enhance this part of the brain's own recovery mechanisms."

Medications proven to kick-start BDNF will not only benefit stroke victims but could have a role in other brain injury, particularly veterans with combat-related traumatic brain injuries.

There are currently medications in development activating the AT2 receptor as a mechanism for brain protection, but drug development will take five to 10 years before such a therapy is available to the public.

The research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and Veterans Affairs Merit Review and a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Jordan University of Science and Technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Georgia. The original article was written by April Reese Sorrow. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Alhusban, A. Kozak, A. Ergul, S. C. Fagan. AT1 receptor antagonism is proangiogenic in the brain: BDNF a novel mediator. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 2012; DOI: 10.1124/jpet.112.197483

Cite This Page:

University of Georgia. "Research offers new targets for stroke treatments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220143734.htm>.
University of Georgia. (2012, December 20). Research offers new targets for stroke treatments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220143734.htm
University of Georgia. "Research offers new targets for stroke treatments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220143734.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins