Ketone bodies promote stroke recovery via GAT-1-dependent cortical network remodeling

Cell Rep. 2023 Apr 25;42(4):112294. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112294. Epub 2023 Mar 21.


Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability worldwide, and better drugs are needed to promote functional recovery after stroke. Growing evidence suggests the critical role of network excitability during the repair phase for stroke recovery. Here, we show that β-hydroxybutyrate (β-HB), an essential ketone body (KB) component, is positively correlated with improved outcomes in patients with stroke and promotes functional recovery in rodents with stroke during the repair phase. These beneficial effects of β-HB depend on HDAC2/HDAC3-GABA transporter 1 (GAT-1) signaling-mediated enhancement of excitability and phasic GABA inhibition in the peri-infarct cortex and structural and functional plasticity in the ipsilateral cortex, the contralateral cortex, and the corticospinal tract. Together with available clinical approaches to elevate KB levels, our results offer a clinically translatable means to promote stroke recovery. Furthermore, GAT-1 can serve as a pharmacological target for developing drugs to promote functional recovery after stroke.

Keywords: CP: Neuroscience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • GABA Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Humans
  • Ketone Bodies*
  • Stroke*


  • GABA Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Ketone Bodies
  • GAT