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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2001 Jan;21(1):15-21.

Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide to inducible nitric oxide synthase protects against transient focal cerebral ischemia-induced brain injury.

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Department of Pharmacology, René Descartes University, Paris, France.


Nitric oxide (NO) has been suspected to mediate brain damage during ischemia. Here the authors studied the effects of an antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) directed against the inducible isoform of NO synthase (iNOS) in a model of transient focal cerebral ischemia in rats. Treatment consisted of seven intracerebroventricular injections of a phosphodiester/phosphorothioate chimera ODN (3 nmol each) at 12-hour intervals, and was initiated 12 hours before a 2-hour occlusion of the left middle cerebral artery and common carotid artery. Outcomes were measured three days after ischemia. When compared with animals treated with vehicle or an appropriate random non-sense control ODN sequence, the antisense treatment reduced the lesion volume by 30% and significantly improved recovery of sensorimotor functions, as assessed on a neuroscore. This effect was associated with a decrease in iNOS expression, as assessed by Western blot, a 39% reduction in iNOS enzymatic activity evaluated as Ca2+-independent NOS activity, and a 37% reduction in nitrotyrosine formation, reflecting protein nitration by NO-derived peroxynitrite. These findings provide new evidence that inhibition of iNOS may be of interest for the treatment of stroke.

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