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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2005 Apr;25(4):431-9.

G-CSF reduces infarct volume and improves functional outcome after transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice.

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  • 1Institute of Cell Signalling, Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.


Growth factors possess neuroprotective and neurotrophic properties in vitro, but few have been extensively studied in vivo after stroke. In the present study, we investigated the potential functional benefits of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) administration after focal cerebral ischemia. Male mice underwent 60-minute middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and received G-CSF (50 microg/kg, subcutaneously) or vehicle (saline) at the onset of reperfusion. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-treated mice killed at 48 hours after MCAO revealed a >45% reduction (P<0.05) in lesion volume. In terms of body weight recovery, and in tests of motor (grid test and rotarod) and cognitive ability (water maze), MCAO significantly worsened the outcome in vehicle-treated mice as compared with shams (P<0.05). However, G-CSF treatment was beneficial as, compared with vehicle, this significantly improved weight recovery and motor ability. This effect was most apparent on the water maze where G-CSF-treated mice were indistinguishable from shams in terms of acquiring the task. These results indicate long-term beneficial effects of a single dose of G-CSF administered on reperfusion, and illustrate the need to further investigate the mechanisms of G-CSF action.

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