Paper on possible stroke treatment by LSU Health Shreveport researchers published in American Heart Association Journal

In the United States, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds according to the American Heart Association. In 2015, stroke deaths accounted for 11.8% of total deaths worldwide, making it the second leading cause of death in the world behind heart disease.

A paper authored by many researchers at LSU Health Shreveport on the prevention and treatment of stroke was recently published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association. The paper is titled, “A Novel Role for the AnxA1-Fpr2/ALX Signaling Axis as a Key Regulator of Platelet Function to Promote Resolution of Inflammation.”

During stroke, blood supply to parts of the brain becomes limited causing cell death. This complex response called “inflammation” involves blood vessels, chemical mediators and immune cells. Ongoing or worsening inflammation further damages the brain. Reducing and ideally eliminating inflammation is critical to recovery from stroke – a process termed ‘resolution’.

Platelets are tiny cells that play a crucial part in the development of stroke. By collecting samples from human subjects within 24 hours of having a stroke and from age-matched volunteers (i.e. without stroke) (IRB Protocol: STUDY00000261 and STUDY00000572), along with animal models of stroke, Dr. Gavins and her team at LSU Health Shreveport have discovered that targeting the formyl peptide receptor 2, Fpr2/ALX – a key player in the resolution process, with a compound called Annexin A1 (AnxA1) is able to reduce platelet function, resolving both thrombosis (clotting) and inflammation, and limiting brain damage during stroke.

Dr. Gavins and her team, which includes many clinical and non-clinical collaborators from LSU Health Shreveport and other institutions in the United States, Australia and Germany, are particularly excited as this is the first study to ever show a multi-faceted role for AnxA1, which could help to protect people against stroke and from the worsening outcomes following a stroke.

Their work not only represents clinicians and scientists working together, but a global collaboration to find a treatment for stroke. Louisiana residents also contributed to this research by volunteering to donate blood samples that could be studied by the researchers.

Shreveport Team Members:

  • Felicity N. Gavins, Ph.D., FRSB (Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and Director of Small Animal Imaging at LSU Health Shreveport)
  • Elena Senchenkova, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology)
  • Junaid Ansari, M.D., Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology)
  • Ms. Shantel Vital, MS (Dr. Gavins’ Lab Manager)
  • Hai Sun, M.D., Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Epilepsy Surgery)
  • Hugo Cueller-Saenz, M.D. (Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Neurointerventional Surgery)
  • A. Wayne Orr, Ph.D. (Professor of Pathology and Translational Pathobiology and Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences)
  • Zaki Al-Yafeai (Molecular and Cellular Physiology Ph.D. student at LSU Health Shreveport)
  • Karen Stokes, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology  and Assistant Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences)
  • Ana-Maria Dragoi, Ph.D. (Associate Director of Innovative North Louisiana Experimental Therapeutics)
  • Jennifer Carroll, Ph.D. (Director of the In Vivo, In Vitro Efficacy Core)
  • D. Neil Granger , Ph.D. (Boyd Professor and former Chair of the Department of Physiology at LSU Health Shreveport)

PAPER CITATION: A Novel Role for the AnxA1-Fpr2/ALX Signaling Axis as a Key Regulator of Platelet Function to Promote Resolution of Inflammation.  Circulation. 2019 Jun 3. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.

NOTE: All animal experiments were approved by the LSU Health Shreveport Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and were in accordance with the guidelines of the American Physiological Society.