Dr. Gregory J. Bix of the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, has been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study a promising treatment for ischemic stroke.
The five-year grant expands Bix's earlier research on a protein called Perlecan Domain V, which appears to foster healing after strokes caused by blood clots in the brain.
"Perlecan seems to promote neurorepair in endothelial cells by blocking a receptor called A5B1 Integrin," Bix said. "In fact, genetically engineered mice that are completely deficient in the A5B1 receptor in endothelial cells show amazingly little to no injury after a stroke."
"It's therefore logical to postulate that eliminating the A5B1 Integrin receptor in brain blood vessel cells or blocking its activity early on after an ischemic stroke may be profoundly neuroprotective," he added.
In other words, Bix and his lab will use this grant to go backwards, in a sense, to study A5B1 integrin itself, its role in ischemic stroke, and its potential as a therapeutic target in ischemic stroke.
The Bix lab has identified two molecules known to block the A5B1 Integrin receptor: ATN-161, a peptide that has been used in clinical trials for brain cancer, and a modified... FULL STORY