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Neuroscience. 1997 Apr;77(4):1123-35.

Long-term beneficial effects of BW619C89 on neurological deficit, cognitive deficit and brain damage after middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London, UK.


4-Amino-2-(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)-5-(2,3,5-trichlorophenyl)pyrimidine (BW619C89) is a sodium channel antagonist which when administered parenterally reduces neurological deficit and infarct volume after middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. We have investigated whether BW619C89 administered orally before middle cerebral artery occlusion is cerebroprotective when rats are assessed at one day after stroke, and whether cerebroprotection is long lasting and related to functional recovery. A cerebroprotective oral dose of BW619C89 (20 mg/kg) was used to determine whether reduction in infarct volume is long lasting and can be enhanced with continued therapy, and whether behavioural deficits occurring after middle cerebral artery occlusion such as disturbances in cognition and motor coordination are ameliorated by treatment with BW619C89. Rats received sham surgery or middle cerebral artery occlusion with a single treatment of BW619C89 (20 mg/kg) 1 h before middle cerebral artery occlusion, a double treatment group receiving 20 mg/kg BW619C89 1 h before and 10 mg/kg 5 h after middle cerebral artery occlusion, or continued treatment with BW619C89 for up to five days. Neurological deficit, assessed from days 1 to 21, and at 70 days after middle cerebral artery occlusion, was reduced to a similar extent in all three groups of rats treated with BW619C89, compared with vehicle-treated controls. At 70 days after middle cerebral artery occlusion, all groups performed at control level. Vehicle-treated rats were impaired in the Morris water maze and step-through passive avoidance paradigm five to eight weeks after middle cerebral artery occlusion, when neurological deficit was minimal. These deficits were partially alleviated, to a similar extent, by all of the three treatments with BW619C89. Total volumes of brain damage, assessed at 70 days after middle cerebral artery occlusion in Luxol Fast Blue- and Cresyl Violet-stained coronal sections, were reduced in all three groups of BW619C89-treated rats, to 46% in the single, 50% in the double and 58% in the continued treatment group, compared with vehicle-treated rats. Extent of brain damage correlated with extent of impairment of the rats in the water maze. These findings suggest that BW619C89 has long-lasting cerebroprotective effects with advantageous functional consequences after single oral administration in a rodent model of stroke. Prolonged treatment with BW619C89 did not significantly enhance the cerebroprotective effects. Deficits in performance of rats in the water maze and step-through passive avoidance tasks indicate sustained cognitive impairment after middle cerebral artery occlusion. The reductions in brain damage by BW619C89 correlated with significant long-term functional improvement.

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