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Eur J Pharmacol. 2006 Jan 13;530(1-2):70-80. Epub 2005 Dec 28.

Modulation of the oxidative stress and inflammatory response by PPAR-gamma agonists in the hippocampus of rats exposed to cerebral ischemia/reperfusion.

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Department of Anatomy, Pharmacology and Forensic Medicine, University of Turin, Torino, Italy.


Agonists of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) exert protective effects in several models of ischemia/reperfusion injury, but their role in stroke is less clear. The study investigates the effects of two PPAR-gamma agonists, rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, on oxidative stress and inflammatory response induced by ischemia/reperfusion in the rat hippocampus. Common carotid artery occlusion for 30 min followed by 1 h reperfusion resulted in a significant increase in the generation of reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide and the end products of lipid peroxidation as well as markedly reduced endogenous antioxidant glutathione levels and up-regulated superoxide dismutase activity. Western blot analysis showed that ischemia/reperfusion lead to an increase in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression, as well activating p38 and p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB). Pre-treatment with either rosiglitazone or pioglitazone significantly reduced oxidative stress, COX-2 protein expression and activation of MAPKs and NF-kappaB. Taken together, the results provide convincing evidence that PPAR-gamma agonists exert protective effects in a rat model of mild forebrain ischemia/reperfusion injury by inhibiting oxidative stress and excessive inflammatory response.

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