Even though stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, there is only one approved treatment. Furthermore, fewer than 5% of stroke patients benefit from this treatment. New therapeutic targets are therefore urgently needed.

Katrin Andreasson and colleagues, at Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, have now identified the protein EP4 as a potential new target for the treatment of stroke. Key to their suggestion that EP4 could provide therapeutic benefit to stroke patients, was the observation that therapeutic systemic administration of a selective EP4 agonist after stroke reduced brain damage and long-term behavioral deficits in mice.

TITLE: Signaling via the prostaglandin E2 receptor EP4 exerts neuronal and vascular protection in a mouse model of cerebral ischemia

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