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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2008 Jan;28(1):17-23. Epub 2007 Apr 25.

Downregulation of hippocampal adenosine kinase after focal ischemia as potential endogenous neuroprotective mechanism.

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  • 1Robert S Dow Neurobiology Laboratories, Legacy Research, Portland, Oregon 97232, USA.


The rate of ischemic brain injury varies with the brain region, requiring only hours in striatum but days in hippocampus. Such maturation implies the existence of endogenous neuroprotective mechanisms. Adenosine is an endogenous neuroprotectant regulated by adenosine kinase (ADK). To investigate, whether adenosine might play a role in protecting the hippocampus after focal ischemia, we subjected transgenic mice, which overexpress ADK in hippocampal neurons (Adk-tg mice) to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Although the hippocampus of wild-type (wt) mice was consistently spared from injury after 60 mins of MCAO, hippocampal injury became evident in Adk-tg mice after only 15 mins of MCAO. To determine, whether downregulation of hippocampal ADK might qualify as candidate mechanism mediating endogenous neuroprotection, we evaluated ADK expression in wt mice after several periods of reperfusion after 15 or 60 mins of MCAO. After 60 mins of MCAO, hippocampal ADK was significantly reduced in both hemispheres after 1, 3, and 24 h of reperfusion. Reduction of ADK-immunoreactivity corresponded to a 2.2-fold increase in hippocampal adenosine at 3 h of reperfusion. Remarkably, a significant reduction of ADK immunoreactivity was also found in the ipsilateral (stroked) hippocampus after 15 mins of MCAO and 3 h of reperfusion. Thus, transient downregulation of hippocampal ADK after stroke might be a protective mechanism during maturation hippocampal cell loss.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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