Voelcker Academy

Research Symposium 2012


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Angelica Fernandez

Purinergic Receptor Stimulation Reduces MCAO Stroke Volume

Angelica Fernandez

Mentor(s): Lora Watts, PhD., and Timothy Duong, PhD

  • Stroke accounts for nearly 800,000 deaths in the United States each year.
  • Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death behind heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease in the United States.
  • A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain.
  • Classification of strokes:
    • ischemic strokes- resulting decrease in blood flow leads to ischemic damage in the region of the brain that is fed by the artery
    • hemorrhagic strokes- caused by the rupture of blood vessels or aneurysms and subsequent bleeding into the brain or the subarachnoid space surrounding the brain
  • The purinergic receptor agonist 2-methylthio-adenosine diphosphate (2meSADP) increases Ca2+ sensitive mitochondrial metabolism in astrocytes and markedly reduces infarct size in a photothrombosis stroke model (permanent occlusion) using histological and invasive optical imaging techniques.

We predict that 2meSADP will reduce infarct size compared to the control group by sustaining astrocyte energetics in the MRI-defined ischemic penumbra resulting in suppression of apoptotic signaling.