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Stroke. 2006 Jul;37(7):1888-94. Epub 2006 Jun 8.

Cathepsin and calpain inhibitor E64d attenuates matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity after focal cerebral ischemia in rats.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, California, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and cysteine proteases (calpain and cathepsin B) play an important role in cell death and are upregulated after focal cerebral ischemia. Because there is a significant interaction between MMP-9 with calpain and cathepsin B, we investigated the role of E64d (a calpain and cathepsin B inhibitor) on MMP-9 activation in the rat focal ischemia model.

METHODS:

Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to 2 hours of middle cerebral artery occlusion by using the suture insertion method followed by 22 hours of reperfusion. In the treatment group, a single dose of E64d (5 mg/kg IP) was administrated 30 minutes before the induction of focal ischemia, whereas the nontreatment group received dimethyl sulfoxide only. The neurological deficits, infarct volumes, Evans blue extravasation, brain edema, and MMP-9 activation in the brain were determined.

RESULTS:

Pretreatment with E64d produced a significant reduction in the cerebral infarction volume (353.1+/-19.8 versus 210.3+/-23.7 mm3) and the neurological deficits. Immunofluorescence studies showed MMP-9, calpain, and cathepsin B activation colocalized to both neurons and the neurovascular endothelial cells after ischemia, which was reduced by E64d.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that E64d treatment provides a neuroprotective effect to rats after transient focal cerebral ischemia by inhibiting the upregulation of MMP-9.

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