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Stroke. 1996 Apr;27(4):743-6.

Effect of age and sex on N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist-induced neuronal necrosis in rats.

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  • Department of Pathology, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Although N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonism may be a useful therapeutic approach in stroke treatment, it has been found that these pharmacological agents cause neuronal necrosis in restricted cortical regions of the rodent brain.

METHODS:

To test the hypothesis that age and sex influence NMDA antagonist-induced neuronal necrosis, male and female rats were studied at 2 months (young), 12 months (middle-aged), and 24 months (old) of age. A dose of 5 mg/kg MK-801 was administered, followed by quantitation of neuronal necrosis at nine coronal levels in the cingulate and retrosplenial cortex at 1 week of survival.

RESULTS:

Mortality was dependent on age but not sex and was higher in the old rats (P<.01). The number of necrotic neurons per hemisphere was greater in female than in male rats at all ages (P<.0001). Female rats also showed increasing neuronal necrosis with age (P<.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

The results indicate a major sex difference in neuronal cytotoxicity caused by NMDA antagonists and a minor increase in susceptibility with increasing age in females. The findings may be relevant to development of drugs with NMDA antagonist properties for use in human stroke.

PMID:
8614941
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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