Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2004 Jun 30;24(26):5909-12.

Prophylactic creatine administration mediates neuroprotection in cerebral ischemia in mice.

Author information

Neuroapoptosis Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Creatine mediates remarkable neuroprotection in experimental models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, and traumatic brain injury. Because caspase-mediated pathways are shared functional mechanistic components in these diseases, as well as in ischemia, we evaluated the effect of creatine supplementation on an experimental stroke model. Oral creatine administration resulted in a remarkable reduction in ischemic brain infarction and neuroprotection after cerebral ischemia in mice. Postischemic caspase-3 activation and cytochrome c release were significantly reduced in creatine-treated mice. Creatine administration buffered ischemia-mediated cerebral ATP depletion. These data provide the first direct correlation between the preservation of bioenergetic cellular status and the inhibition of activation of caspase cell-death pathways in vivo. An alternative explanation to our findings is that creatine is neuroprotective through other mechanisms that are independent of mitochondrial cell-death pathways, and therefore postischemic ATP preservation is the result of tissue sparing. Given its safety record, creatine might be considered as a novel therapeutic agent for inhibition of ischemic brain injury in humans. Prophylactic creatine supplementation, similar to what is recommended for an agent such as aspirin, may be considered for patients in high stroke-risk categories.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center