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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2011 Jul;31(7):1588-98. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2011.28. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Cyclosporine A, FK506, and NIM811 ameliorate prolonged CBF reduction and impaired neurovascular coupling after cortical spreading depression.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Center for Healthy Aging, The Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen N, Denmark.


Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is associated with mitochondrial depolarization, increasing intracellular Ca(2+), and the release of free fatty acids, which favor opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) and activation of calcineurin (CaN). Here, we test the hypothesis that cyclosporine A (CsA), which blocks both mPTP and CaN, ameliorates the persistent reduction of cerebral blood flow (CBF), impaired vascular reactivity, and a persistent rise in the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2)) following CSD. In addition to CsA, we used the specific mPTP blocker NIM811 and the specific CaN blocker FK506. Cortical spreading depression was induced in rat frontal cortex. Electrocortical activity was recorded by glass microelectrodes, CBF by laser Doppler flowmetry, and tissue oxygen tension with polarographic microelectrodes. Electrocortical activity, basal CBF, CMRO(2), and neurovascular and neurometabolic coupling were unaffected by all three drugs under control conditions. NIM811 augmented the rise in CBF observed during CSD. Cyclosporine A and FK506 ameliorated the persistent decrease in CBF after CSD. All three drugs prevented disruption of neurovascular coupling after CSD; the rise in CMRO(2) was unchanged. Our data suggest that blockade of mPTP formation and CaN activation may prevent persistent CBF reduction and vascular dysfunction after CSD.

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