Stroke Induces Prolonged Changes in Lipid Metabolism, the Liver and Body Composition in Mice

Michael J Haley, Claire S White, Daisy Roberts, Kelly O'Toole, Catriona J Cunningham, Jack Rivers-Auty, Conor O'Boyle, Conor Lane, Oliver Heaney, Stuart M Allan, Catherine B Lawrence* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


During recovery, stroke patients are at risk of developing long-term complications that impact quality of life, including changes in body weight and composition, depression and anxiety, as well as an increased risk of subsequent vascular events. The aetiologies and time-course of these post-stroke complications have not been extensively studied and are poorly understood. Therefore, we assessed long-term changes in body composition, metabolic markers and behaviour after middle cerebral artery occlusion in mice. These outcomes were also studied in the context of obesity, a common stroke co-morbidity proposed to protect against post-stroke weight loss in patients. We found that stroke induced long-term changes in body composition, characterised by a sustained loss of fat mass with a recovery of lean weight loss. These global changes in response to stroke were accompanied by an altered lipid profile (increased plasma free fatty acids and triglycerides) and increased adipokine release at 60 days. After stroke, the liver also showed histological changes indicative of liver damage and a decrease in plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was observed. Stroke induced depression and anxiety-like behaviours in mice, illustrated by deficits in exploration, nest building and burrowing behaviours. When initial infarct volumes were matched between mice with and without comorbid obesity, these outcomes were not drastically altered. Overall, we found that stroke induced long-term changes in depressive/anxiety-like behaviours, and changes in plasma lipids, adipokines and the liver that may impact negatively on future vascular health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-850
Number of pages14
JournalTranslational Stroke Research
Early online date21 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Brain ischaemia
  • High-fat diet
  • Adipokines
  • Liver
  • Lipids
  • Depression

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    Haley, M. J., White, C. S., Roberts, D., O'Toole, K., Cunningham, C. J., Rivers-Auty, J., O'Boyle, C., Lane, C., Heaney, O., Allan, S. M., & Lawrence, C. B. (2020). Stroke Induces Prolonged Changes in Lipid Metabolism, the Liver and Body Composition in Mice. Translational Stroke Research, 11, 837-850.