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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2003 Feb;23(2):232-9.

Neuroprotection by complement (C1) inhibitor in mouse transient brain ischemia.

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Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milan, Italy.


The authors investigated the effect of the C1 inhibitor (C1-INH), the only known inhibitor of complement C1, in a murine model of transient focal ischemia. Ischemia was induced by intraluminal occlusion of the middle cerebral artery. After 2 hours, reperfusion was produced by removing the nylon monofilament occluding the artery. The effect of 15 U C1-INH (intravenously) was evaluated in terms of general and focal neurologic deficits, ischemic volume, neutral red staining (to identify the brain areas subject to ischemic damage), and glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity (to show astrocytic response). Forty-eight hours after ischemia, C1-INH significantly improved general and focal deficits by 36% and 54%, respectively, and significantly reduced infarct volume (CI-INH, 6.69% +/- 2.93%; saline, 24.24% +/- 8.24%) of total brain. Neutral red staining further showed the strong protective effect of C1-INH in cortex, hippocampus, and striatum. Astrocyte activation induced by ischemia was not affected by C1-INH. These findings show that C1-INH displayed a potent neuroprotective action by effectively reducing ischemia-reperfusion injury.

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