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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2001 Sep;21(9):1097-104.

Administration of transforming growth factor-alpha reduces infarct volume after transient focal cerebral ischemia in the rat.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IIBB-CSIC, IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.


Growth factors promote cell growth and survival and protect the brain from developing injury after ischemia. In this article, the authors examined whether transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) was protective in transient focal ischemia and whether alteration of cerebral circulation was involved. Rats received intraventricular TGF-alpha (50 ng, either split into 2 doses given 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), or 1 dose given 30 minutes after MCAO) or vehicle. Rats were subjected to 1-hour intraluminal MCAO and cerebral blood flow was recorded continuously by laser-Doppler flowmetry. Infarct volume was measured 1 and 4 days later. The effects of TGF-alpha on arterial tone were assessed in isolated rabbit basilar and common carotid arteries. Transforming growth factor-alpha before and after ischemia reduced infarct volume by 70% at 1 day and 50% at 4 days. Transforming growth factor-alpha given only after ischemia also did reduce infarct volume by 70% at 1 day and 80% at 4 days. The protective effect was more marked in cortex than in striatum. Transforming growth factor-alpha did not change cortical microvascular perfusion and did not modify arterial passive tone nor agonist-induced active tone. It can be concluded that TGF-alpha reduces infarct volume, even when the factor is exclusively administered at reperfusion, and that this effect is not mediated by changes in microvascular perfusion or cerebral arteries. It is therefore suggested that TGF-alpha has a protective effect against neuronal cell death after transient focal ischemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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