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Brain Res. 2001 Apr 27;899(1-2):148-58.

Cyclosporin A, but not FK506, prevents the downregulation of phosphorylated Akt after transient focal ischemia in the rat.

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Center for the Study of Neurological Disease, Neuroscience Institute, Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu, HI, USA.


The two immunosuppressants, cyclosporin A (CsA) and FK506, when given 1 and 3 h after the start of reperfusion following 2 h of middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion, reduce infarct volume to 30% of control. This suggests a common effect, e.g. one due to suppression of the activation of calcineurin. However, when given by the intracarotid (i.c.) route after only 5 min of recirculation CsA, but not FK506, reduced infarct volume even further, to 10% of control. This was attributed to the fact that CsA, but not FK506, block the in vitro assembly of a mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) pore. The present experiments were undertaken to further characterize the anti-ischemic effect of CsA, when given i.c. 5 min after recirculation and to explore why CsA, when given at that time, is more efficacious than FK506. It was established that the i.c. administration of CsA in a dose of 10 mg/kg increased the tissue concentration of CsA 2- to 3-fold, when compared to the i.v. administration. CsA proved to be effective in reducing infarct volume even when the tissue damage was assessed by histopathology after 7 days of recovery. MCA occlusion of 2 h duration caused a sustained decrease in the phosphorylation Akt at threonine 308. Since this down regulation of Akt was prevented by CsA, the results suggested a link between dephosphorylaltion of Bad, and cell death. Interestingly FK506 did not prevent down regulation of Akt, it thus seems unlikely that the anti-ischemic effect of CsA is related to its association with cytosolic cyclophilin.

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