In the United States, someone experiences a stroke every 40 seconds. Axonal injury and dysfunction are responsible for much of the disability observed after stroke. The human brain comprises equal proportions of gray matter and white matter, and white matter is injured in most strokes. Casein kinase 2 (CK2) is a protein kinase expressed in brain, including in white matter, and is regulated by ischemia. Our preliminary results show that CK2 inhibition attenuates WM ischemic injury and prevents oxygen glucose-deprivation (OGD)-induced axonal injury and oligodendrocyte death. In addition, CK2 inhibition attenuates loss of axonal mitochondria, providing clear evidence that CK2 signaling inhibition protects WM from ischemia by preserving oligodendrocytes and mitochondrial integrity and function. CK2 expression is increased in many cancers and CK2 inhibitors are currently undergoing clinical trials in that field. As CK2 activity modulates the impact of ischemic injury on axonal recovery, we will use OGD as a model of stroke to investigate the mechanism(s) by which CK2 regulates axon function in a pure WM tract, the mouse optic nerve. The long-term goal of this application is to determine how CK2 signaling leads to WM ischemic injury. Our approach combines electrophysiology, biochemistry, RNA interference in oligodendrocyte cell lines, confocal and 2-photon imaging, tests of mitochondrial function, and 3-dimentional electron microscopy to test the hypothesis that CK2 activation of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)/AKT signaling pathways mediates WM ischemic injury by contributing to oligodendrocyte death and impairing mitochondrial function. This proposal is aimed to define which glial cell type is injured by CK2 signaling and to establish that CK2 signaling impairs mitochondrial dynamics, function, and ultrastructure. We anticipate that these studies will provide fundamentally important new insights into the physiological and pathophysiological regulation of CK2 signaling in WM. Our translational studies will identify novel therapeutic target(s) to protect WM against ischemic injury, reducing mortality and morbidity and improving recovery following stroke.

Public Health Relevance

Stroke affects 795,000 Americans every year. More importantly, survivors of stroke are functionally disabled, ranging from minimal to severe, which comes with an enormous cost to national health resources. This proposal is critically designed to explore the contribution of CK2 signaling to white matter ischemic injury by activating signaling pathways to impair oligodendrocytes and mitochondrial energy production. Our study will translate into the identification of novel therapeutic target(s) that will help reduce mortality and morbidity and improve recovery in stroke patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Neural Oxidative Metabolism and Death Study Section (NOMD)
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Bosetti, Francesca
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Cleveland Clinic Lerner
Other Basic Sciences
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Bastian, Chinthasagar; Zaleski, Jane; Stahon, Katharine et al. (2018) NOS3 Inhibition Confers Post-Ischemic Protection to Young and Aging White Matter Integrity by Conserving Mitochondrial Dynamics and Miro-2 Levels. J Neurosci 38:6247-6266
Bastian, Chinthasagar; Politano, Stephen; Day, Jerica et al. (2018) Mitochondrial dynamics and preconditioning in white matter. Cond Med 1:64-72