Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Therapeutic blood-brain barrier modulation and stroke treatment by a bioengineered FZD4-selective WNT surrogate in mice. Nature communications Ding, J., Lee, S., Vlahos, L., Yuki, K., Rada, C. C., van Unen, V., Vuppalapaty, M., Chen, H., Sura, A., McCormick, A. K., Tomaske, M., Alwahabi, S., Nguyen, H., Nowatzke, W., Kim, L., Kelly, L., Vollrath, D., Califano, A., Yeh, W., Li, Y., Kuo, C. J. 2023; 14 (1): 2947


    Derangements of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) or blood-retinal barrier (BRB) occur in disorders ranging from stroke, cancer, diabetic retinopathy, and Alzheimer's disease. The Norrin/FZD4/TSPAN12 pathway activates WNT/beta-catenin signaling, which is essential for BBB and BRB function. However, systemic pharmacologic FZD4 stimulation is hindered by obligate palmitoylation and insolubility of native WNTs and suboptimal properties of the FZD4-selective ligand Norrin. Here, we develop L6-F4-2, a non-lipidated, FZD4-specific surrogate which significantly improves subpicomolar affinity versus native Norrin. In Norrin knockout (NdpKO) mice, L6-F4-2 not only potently reverses neonatal retinal angiogenesis deficits, but also restores BRB and BBB function. In adult C57Bl/6J mice, post-stroke systemic delivery of L6-F4-2 strongly reduces BBB permeability, infarction, and edema, while improving neurologic score and capillary pericyte coverage. Our findings reveal systemic efficacy of a bioengineered FZD4-selective WNT surrogate during ischemic BBB dysfunction, with potential applicability to adult CNS disorders characterized by an aberrant blood-brain barrier.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-023-37689-1

    View details for PubMedID 37268690

  • Regulation of the Blood-Brain Barrier in Health and Disease. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine Rada, C. C., Yuki, K., Ding, J., Kuo, C. J. 2023


    The neurovascular unit is a dynamic microenvironment with tightly controlled signaling and transport coordinated by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A properly functioning BBB allows sufficient movement of ions and macromolecules to meet the high metabolic demand of the central nervous system (CNS), while protecting the brain from pathogenic and noxious insults. This review describes the main cell types comprising the BBB and unique molecular signatures of these cells. Additionally, major signaling pathways for BBB development and maintenance are highlighted. Finally, we describe the pathophysiology of BBB diseases, their relationship to barrier dysfunction, and identify avenues for therapeutic intervention.

    View details for DOI 10.1101/cshperspect.a041191

    View details for PubMedID 36987582