Stroke repair: study shows single pathway crucial for generating new stem cells, neurons and blood vessels

Posted on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The study, published in Stem Cell Reports, focuses on a pathway called aPKC-CBP. Dr. Wang and her colleagues found that blocking this pathway early after a stroke can stimulate pericytes (which wrap around blood vessels in the brain) to become stem cells. But if you permanently block the pathway, it prevents the stem cells from becoming neurons and exhausts the pericytes so they can’t help with blood vessel repair during the chronic phase after a stroke. The paper thus suggests that the aPKC-CBP pathway may need to be blocked at the early phase of a stroke, then reactivated during the chronic phase of a stroke to get the optimal mix of cells for stroke repair and functional recovery. While this research was done in laboratory models, compounds that target the aPKC-CBP pathway are already being tested in human clinical trials for other conditions.

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