Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Leveraging brown adipose tissue to combat elderly stroke

Leiluo Geng, PhD | State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong; Aimin Xu, PhD; Boya Liao, PhD; Leigang Jin, PhD; Xinyao Yi, MS
Competition Sponsor: Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China
Award Year: 2023

Brown adipose tissue (BAT), consisted of brown adipocytes and stromal vascular fraction, plays a pivotal role in regulating thermogenesis and energy expenditure. BAT also modulates systemic metabolism and health via secreting endocrine factors, termed batokines. Ageing is associated with loss and dysfunction of BAT and poor prognosis of stroke, which has been a leading cause of death and disability in the aged population. Whether restoration of BAT function is able to alleviate stoke injury in the elderly remains unknown. Our preliminary studies demonstrated that both surgical and genetic depletion of BAT exacerbated ischemic stroke injury induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion in young mice. Aged mice transplanted with BAT from young mice showed alleviated cerebral injury after stroke, suggesting the protective role of functional BAT in elderly stroke. Additionally, we found BAT-derived exosomes, which contain multiple kinds of batokines, significantly alleviated the cerebral ischemia injury in aged mice. Based on these findings, this study aims to comprehensively reveal the beneficial role of BAT in modulating elderly stroke injury, clarify the fine-tuned crosstalk between BAT and central nervous system in stroke injury, and identify novel batokines of therapeutic potential for elderly stroke. Our study will provide phonotypic and mechanistic insights into both stroke biology and brown adipocyte biology as well as contribute to the development of BAT-based therapies for elderly stroke.

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