Prof Lorenz Hirt
Consultant/senior staff member
Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Stroke Research
Laboratoire des maladies cérébrovasculaires
Affiliation: Service of neurology (NLG)
Keywords: Stroke, Cerebral ischemia, Experimental stroke, Lactate.
Our research aims at finding additional options to improve the outcome of stroke patients. Experimentally, we are investigating the neurovascular unit, neuroinflammation, angiogenesis and metabolism after stroke. We are running a double blind randomised controlled clinical trial on lactate administration in ischemic stroke patients, thereby translating our project on lactate from bench to bedside, in collaboration with the clinical stroke research team of Pr. Patrik Michel. In clinical research, we are also exploring our large retrospective Doppler US database.
The stroke laboratory is studying mechanisms of cell death after cerebral ischemia using an experimental model (mouse middle cerebral artery occlusion, MCAO). We are studying lactate as an agent for repair and protection as well as its neuroprotective mechanisms involving its receptor and transporters. We have shown that the mode of action lactate in vivo is predominantly metaobic, as receptor agonists failed to induce protection and as lack of receptor did not lead to enhanced susceptility to stroke in receptor deficient mice. In an SNF-funded project analysing hyperpolarized substrate administration after MCAO by magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we have shown a rapid metabolism in the ischemic brain of both 13C-lactate and 13C-pyruvate. These preclinical results led us to initiate a clinical trial in acute stroke patients testing lactate against placebo (10 patients included so far). Lab members are Lara Buscemi, PhD; Melanie Price, PhD and Julia Castillo Gonzalez, MSc.