Neuroprotective role of lactate in a human in vitro model of the ischemic penumbra

Marta Cerina, Marloes Levers, Jason M. Keller, Monica Frega*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Downloads (Pure)


In patients suffering from cerebral ischemic stroke, there is an urgent need for treatments to protect stressed yet viable brain cells. Recently, treatment strategies that induce neuronal activity have been shown to be neuroprotective. Here, we hypothesized that neuronal activation might maintain or trigger the astrocyte-to-neuron lactate shuttle (ANLS), whereby lactate is released from astrocytes to support the energy requirements of ATP-starved hypoxic neurons, and this leads to the observed neuroprotection. We tested this by using a human cell based in vitro model of the ischemic penumbra and investigating whether lactate might be neuroprotective in this setting. We found that lactate transporters are involved in the neuroprotective effect mediated by neuronal activation. Furthermore, we showed that lactate exogenously administered before hypoxia correlated with neuroprotection in our cellular model. In addition, stimulation of astrocyte with consequent endogenous production of lactate resulted in neuroprotection. To conclude, here we presented evidence that lactate transport into neurons contributes to neuroprotection during hypoxia providing a potential basis for therapeutic approaches in ischemic stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7973
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Early online date4 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 4 Apr 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'Neuroprotective role of lactate in a human in vitro model of the ischemic penumbra'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this