Targeting Astrogliosis to promote recovery after stroke

Project Details

Nerve transmission relies heavily on the relationship between blood vessels, astrocytes and neurons that together form the neurovascular unit. Our studies show that extensive morphological transition of astrocytes after stroke disrupts communication within the unit leading to loss of function in both damaged and surviving nerves outside of the infarct core.

Using the Rho-kinase inhibitor, Fasudil hydrochloride, we also show that astrocytes can be stabilised after ischaemic stroke to retain a trophic phenotype, to restore the neurovascular unit and reverse functional deficits.

The next steps are to identify the therapeutic window for targeting astrocytes after stroke, as well as to investigate the underlying signalling pathways involved in functional recovery.

Whilst these studies will be performed in a relevant animal model of stroke, the information obtained will be used for translation to clinical trial.


This project is supervised by Dr Carli Roulston, and co-supervised by A/Professor Heung-Chin Cheng (Department of Biochemistry).


  • Professor Philip Beart, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
  • Dr Lauren Sanders, St Vincent's Hospital


  • Cass Foundation Australia

Research Outcomes

  • Abeysinghe HCS,  Roulston CL. Targeting inflammatory astrocytes to facilitate brain rescue and remodelling. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2016; 17(3), 288; doi:10.3390/ijms17030288.
  • Abeysinghe HCS, Bokhari L, Dusting GJ, Roulston CL. Cyclosporine A reduces glial scarring and facilitates functional recovery following transient focal ischemia. Journal of Neurology and Neurophysiology 2015; 6:100027.

Research Publications

  • Abeysinghe HC, Bokhari L, Dusting GJ, Roulston CL. Brain Remodelling following Endothelin-1 Induced Stroke in Conscious Rats. PLoS One 2014. 9(5):e97007.

Research Group

Neurotrauma and Stroke

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology

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