Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

James D. Lechleiter, Ph.D.

Jameslechleiter presaward2017 05


Dr. Lechleiter's laboratory is interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms of protection during drug addition, ischemic stress, stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. Most strategies to reduce, slow and repair the severity of brain injuries and diseases have focused almost exclusively on neurons.

We have focused our research on the potential of astrocytes as a novel theurapeutic avenue for brain treatment.

Astrocytes are known to play a crucial role in supporting and protecting neuronal function and in modulating brain energy metabolism. A therapeutic strategy that increases energy production is inherently robust, since the number of potential neuroprotective processes that benefit are significantly higher than a single molecular target.

Selected Publications

Zheng W, LT Watts, D Holstein, Prajapati, S.I., Keller, C., Grass, E., Walter, C. and Lechleiter, J.D. (2010) Purinergic Receptor Stimulation Reduces Cytotoxic Edema and Brain Infarcts in Mouse Induced by Photothrombosis by Energizing Glial Mitochondria. PLoS One 5 (12): e14401. PMCID: PMC3008710

Bollo, M., Paredes, R.M., Holstein, D., Zheleznova, N., Camacho, P., and Lechleiter, J.D. (2010). Calcineurin Interacts with PERK and Dephosphorylates Calnexin to Relieve ER Stress in Mammals and Frogs. PLoS One 5 (8): e11925. PMCID: PMC2916823

Zheng W, LT Watts, D Holstein, Wewer, J. and Lechleiter, J.D. (2013) P2Y1R-initiated, IP3R-dependent Stimulation of Astrocyte Mitochondrial Metabolism Reduces and Partially Reverses Ischemic Neuronal Damage in Mouse. J. Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 33, 600-611. PMCID: PMC3618399

Chocron*, E.S., Sayre*, N.L., Holstein, D., Saelim, N., Ibdah, J.A., Dong, L.Q., Zhu, X., Cheng, S.Y. and Lechleiter, J.D. (2012) The Trifunctional Protein Mediates Thyroid Hormone Receptor Dependent Stimulation of Mitochondria Metabolism.Mol. Endocrinology 26, 1117-1126. *co-first authorsPMCID: PMC3385793

 Lin AL, Zheng W, Halloran JJ, Burbank RR, Hussong SA, Hart MJ, Javors M, Shih YY, Muir E, Solano Fonseca R, Strong R, Richardson AG, Lechleiter JD , Fox PT, Galvan V. Chronic rapamycin restores brain vascular integrity and function through NO synthase activation and improves memory in symptomatic mice modeling Alzheimer's disease. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2013 Sep;33(9):1412-21.

Chen, Y., Holstein, D.M., Aime, S., Bollo, M. and Lechleiter, J.D. (2016) Calcineurin beta protects brain after injury by activating the unfolded protein response. Neurobiol Dis 94, 139-156. PMID: 27334877

Sayre*, N.L., Sifuentes, M., Holstein, D., Cheng, S.Y., Zhu, X. and Lechleiter, J.D. (2017) Stimulation of astrocyte fatty acid oxidation by thyroid hormone is protective against ischemic stroke-induced damage. J. Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 37, 514-527, PMID: 26873887


Cell Systems and Anatomy


Ph.D., Physiology
University of Arizona, 1984 

B.S., Physics
University of Minnesota, 1978

B.S., Astrophysics
University of Minnesota, 1978



Phone: 210-562-4043

Research Profile
More Info...

Graduate Students

Brian Stoveken, Biology of Aging (Ph.D.)

Mika Sifuentes, Neuroscience (Ph.D.)