Vladimer Darsalia

Vladimer Darsalia

Researcher | Docent
Visiting address: Södersjukhuset, Sjukhusbacken 17, 11883 Stockholm
Postal address: S1 Klinisk forskning och utbildning, Södersjukhuset, S1 KI SÖS Forskning Internmedicin, 118 83 Stockholm

About me

  • *Researcher, Docent in Neuroscience*
    *Researh Group:* https://ki.se/en/kisos/the-neurocardiometabol-group [1]
    *2014 - 2018: Assistent professor, *Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    *2010 - 2014: Post-doctoral fellow, *Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    *2008 - 2010: Post-doctoral fellow, *Lund University, Lund, Sweden
    *2007: Ph.D. in Neurobiology, *Lund University, Lund, Sweden
    *2021: Docent in Neuroscience, * Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
    *2007: Ph.D. in Neurobiology, * Lund University, Sweden
    *2001: Bachelor in Biology, *Tbilisi State University, Georgia
    [1] https://ki.se/en/kisos/the-neurocardiometabol-group


    Prevalence of type 2 diabetes and its complications is rapidly rising
    worldwide. One of the major complications of diabetes is cardiovascular
    disease that often leads to a stroke. Diabetes not only doubles the risk of
    stroke, but also significantly impairs post-stroke recovery, often leading to
    lasting disabilities.
    The main subject of my research is the identification of the
    pathophysiological mechanisms by which diabetes impairs stroke recovery and
    the development of treatment strategies based on lifestyle and
    pharmacological interventions. This research and development effort is
    conducted in close collaboration with academic, clinical and industrial
    partners and involves both clinical and preclinical settings.
    Our group is also actively investigating the role of diabetes in other
    neurological complications that are overrepresented in the diabetic
    population, such as Parkinson’s disease, cognitive decline and dementias.
    * In a nationwide cohort study [1], our group demonstrated the link between
    insulin resistance (IR) and increased stroke risk and mortality in type 2
    diabetes (T2D), highlighting the need of novel therapeutics beyond simple
    glycaemic control. In following studies, using experimental T2D, IR and
    stroke models we showed that the IR is detrimental for stroke recovery and
    reversing it pre-stroke by lifestyle [2] or pharmacological [3]
    interventions leads to improved functional recovery.
    * Type 2 diabetes significantly impairs functional recovery after stroke
    [4]. However, Chronic regulation of glycaemia by DPP-4inhibitors [5],
    GLP-1R agonists [6], Sulfonylureas [7] and SGLT-2 inhibitors in post-acute
    recovery phase after stroke improves functional recovery in T2D in
    association with increased neuroplasticity and vascular remodelling.
    * T2D leads to impairments in nigrostriatal dopaminergic system along ageing
    by reducing dopamine release in striatum, potential increasing the risk of
    neurological disorders associated with impaired movement, attention,
    reward and learning (complications that are common in T2D people). This
    effect is reversed by chronic treatment with DPP-4inhibitors and
    sulfonylureas [8], showing the additional benefit of these drugs over
    standard T2D care.
    * Chronic GLP-1R agonist [9] and DPP-4 inhibitor [10] treatment reduce
    stroke-induced injury in T2D. This was the first demonstration the
    superior potential of GLP-1R agonists and DPP-4 inhibitors over standard
    T2D care as the potential strategy to in addition of treating T2D, also
    benefit T2D patients in case of stroke.
    * Human foetal neural stem cells differentiate into neurons [11] after
    grafting in stroke-damaged brain. The survival of grafted stem cells is
    better if grafted shortly after stroke. However, their capacity to migrate
    and differentiate into neurons is still conserved when grafting is delayed
    [12], indicating the potential efficacy of stem cell therapy for stroke
    even in chronic phase after stroke.
    * Stroke-induced neurogenesis persists chronically [13], in recovery phase
    after a stroke. Newly generated neuroblasts maintained directed migration
    towards injury site by stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha and its receptor
    CXCR4. During ageing [14], the neurogenic capacity of the brain in
    response to stroke is maintained despite the general reduction of basal
    1) DPP-4 Inhibitor and Sulfonylurea Differentially Reverse Type 2
    Diabetes-Induced Blood-Brain Barrier Leakage and Normalize Capillary
    Pericyte Coverage. [15] Elabi OF, Karampatsi D, Vercalsteren E, Lietzau
    G, Nyström T, Klein T, *Darsalia V*, Patrone C, Paul G. Diabetes. 2023
    Mar 1
  • 72(3):405-414. doi: 10.2337/db22-0674.PMID: 36448982
    2) Diet-induced weight loss in obese/diabetic mice normalizes glucose
    metabolism and promotes functional recovery after stroke. [16] Karampatsi
    D, Zabala A, Wilhelmsson U, Dekens D, Vercalsteren E, Larsson M, Nyström
    T, Pekny M, Patrone C, *Darsalia V. *Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2021 Dec
  • 20(1):240. doi: 10.1186/s12933-021-01426-z.PMID: 34937562
    3) Estimated glucose disposal rate and risk of stroke and mortality in type
    2 diabetes: a nationwide cohort study. [17] Zabala A, *Darsalia V*, Lind
    M, Svensson AM, Franzén S, Eliasson B, Patrone C, Jonsson M, Nyström
    T.Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2021 Oct 6
  • 20(1):202. doi:
    10.1186/s12933-021-01394-4.PMID: 34615525
    4) Normalisation of glucose metabolism by exendin-4 in the chronic phase
    after stroke promotes functional recovery in male diabetic mice. [18]
    Augestad IL, Dekens D, Karampatsi D, Elabi O, Zabala A, Pintana H,
    Larsson M, Nyström T, Paul G, *Darsalia V*, Patrone C.Br J Pharmacol.
    2022 Feb
  • 179(4):677-694. doi: 10.1111/bph.15524. Epub 2021 Jun
    16.PMID: 33973246
    5) Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and sulfonylureas prevent the
    progressive impairment of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system induced
    by diabetes during aging. [19] Lietzau G, Magni G, Kehr J, Yoshitake T,
    Candeias E, Duarte AI, Pettersson H, Skogsberg J, Abbracchio MP, Klein T,
    Nyström T, Ceruti S, *Darsalia V*, Patrone C.Neurobiol Aging. 2020
  • 89:12-23. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.01.004. Epub 2020 Feb
    4.PMID: 32143981
    6) Obesity-induced type 2 diabetes impairs neurological recovery after
    stroke in correlation with decreased neurogenesis and persistent atrophy
    of parvalbumin-positive interneurons. [20] Pintana H, Lietzau G, Augestad
    IL, Chiazza F, Nyström T, Patrone C, *Darsalia V. *Clin Sci (Lond).
    2019 Jul 1
  • 133(13):1367-1386. doi: 10.1042/CS20190180. Print 2019 Jul
    15.PMID: 31235555
    7) The effect of DPP-4 inhibition to improve functional outcome after stroke
    is mediated by the SDF-1α/CXCR4 pathway. [21] Chiazza F, Tammen H,
    Pintana H, Lietzau G, Collino M, Nyström T, Klein T, *Darsalia V*,
    Patrone C.Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2018 May 19
  • 17(1):60. doi:
    10.1186/s12933-018-0702-3.PMID: 29776406
    8) Type 2 diabetes impairs odour detection, olfactory memory and olfactory
  • effects partly reversed by the DPP-4 inhibitor
    Linagliptin. [22] Lietzau G, Davidsson W, Östenson CG, Chiazza F,
    Nathanson D, Pintana H, Skogsberg J, Klein T, Nyström T, *Darsalia V*,
    Patrone C.Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2018 Feb 23
  • 6(1):14. doi:
    10.1186/s40478-018-0517-1.PMID: 29471869
    [1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34615525/
    [2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34937562/
    [3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36835405/
    [4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31235555/
    [5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32540876/
    [6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33973246/
    [7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32540876/
    [8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32143981/
    [9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22150224/
    [10] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23209191/
    [11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17686040/
    [12] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20531461/
    [13] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16210404/
    [14] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16002766/
    [15] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36448982/
    [16] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34937562/
    [17] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34615525/
    [18] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33973246/
    [19] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32143981/
    [20] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31235555/
    [21] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29776406/
    [22] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29471869/


  • *Project Coordinator and Examiner *for degree projects in medicine (30hp)
    Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet.


All other publications


  • Researcher, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, 2018-

Degrees and Education

  • Docent, Karolinska Institutet, 2021

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