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Brain Res. 2008 Dec 9;1244:164-72. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.09.074. Epub 2008 Oct 9.

PPARgamma agonist rosiglitazone is neuroprotective after traumatic brain injury via anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative mechanisms.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Wisconsin, K4/8 Mail code CSC 8660, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792, USA.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-gamma is a ligand-activated transcription factor of nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. Thiazolidinedione rosiglitazone is a potent agonist of PPARgamma which was shown to induce neuroprotection in animal models of focal ischemia and spinal cord injury. We currently evaluated the therapeutic potential of rosiglitazone (6 mg/kg at 5 min, 6 h and 24 h; i.p.) following controlled cortical impact (CCI)-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) in adult mice. CCI injury increased the cortical PPARgamma mRNA levels which were further elevated by rosiglitazone treatment. In addition, rosiglitazone treatment significantly decreased the cortical lesion volume measured at 7 days compared to vehicle treatment (by 56+/-7%; p<0.05; n=6/group). Following TBI, the spared cortex of the rosiglitazone group showed significantly less numbers of GSI-B4(+) activated microglia/macrophages and ICAM1(+) capillaries, and curtailed induction of pro-inflammatory genes IL6, MCP1 and ICAM1 compared to vehicle group. Rosiglitazone-treated mice also showed significantly less number of TUNEL(+) apoptotic neurons and curtailed induction of caspase-3 and Bax, compared to vehicle control. In addition, rosiglitazone significantly enhanced the post-TBI expression of the neuroprotective chaperones HSP27, HSP70 and HSP32/HO1, and the anti-oxidant enzymes catalase, Cu/Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD, compared to vehicle. Treatment with GW9662 (a specific PPARgamma antagonist) prevented all the above PPARgamma-mediated actions. Thus, PPARgamma activation confers neuroprotection after TBI by anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and anti-oxidative mechanisms.

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