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Neuroscience. 1999 Jan;88(1):185-91.

Mice overexpressing extracellular superoxide dismutase have increased resistance to focal cerebral ischemia.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Transgenic mice, which had been transfected with the human extracellular superoxide dismutase gene, causing an approximate five-fold increase in brain parenchymal extracellular superoxide dismutase activity, were used to investigate the role of extracellular superoxide dismutase in ischemic brain injury. Transgenic (n = 21) and wild-type (n = 19) mice underwent 90 min of intraluminal middle cerebral artery occlusion and 24 h of reperfusion. Severity of resultant hemiparesis and cerebral infarct size were measured. Wild-type mice had larger infarcts (cortex: wild type =37+/-14 mm3, transgenic = 27+/-13 mm3, P=0.03; subcortex: wild type = 33+/-14 mm3, transgenic = 23+/-10 mm3, P = 0.02). Neurological scores, however, were similar (P = 0.29). Other mice underwent autoradiographic determination of intra-ischemic cerebral blood flow. The volume of tissue at risk of infarction (defined as volume of tissue where blood flow was <25 ml/100g/min) was similar between groups (cortex: wild type = 51+/-15 mm3, transgenic = 47+/-9 mm3, P=0.65; subcortex: wild type = 39+/-16 mm3, transgenic= 37+/-17 mm3, P=0.81). These results indicate that antioxidant scavenging of free radicals by extracellular superoxide dismutase plays an important role in the histological response to a focal ischemic brain insult.

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