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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2006 Nov;291(5):H2210-5. Epub 2006 Jun 9.

Atorvastatin protects against cerebral infarction via inhibition of NADPH oxidase-derived superoxide in ischemic stroke.

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1
Depts. of Pharmacology and Neurology, B403 Life Sciences Bldg., Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI 48824-1317, USA.

Abstract

Statins have recently been shown to exert neuronal protection in ischemic stroke. Reactive oxygen species, specifically superoxide formed during the early phase of reperfusion, augment neuronal injury. NADPH oxidase is a key enzyme for superoxide production. The present study tested the hypothesis that atorvastatin protects against cerebral infarction via inhibition of NADPH oxidase-derived superoxide in transient focal ischemia. Transient focal ischemia was created in halothane-anesthetized adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (250-300 g) by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Atorvastatin (Lipitor, 10 mg/kg sc) was administered three times before MCAO. Infarct volume was measured by triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. NADPH oxidase enzymatic activity and superoxide levels were quantified in the ischemic core and penumbral regions by lucigenin (5 microM)-enhanced chemiluminescence. Expression of NADPH oxidase membrane subunit gp91(phox) and membrane-translocated subunit p47(phox) and small GTPase Rac-1 was analyzed by Western blot. NADPH oxidase activity and superoxide levels increased after reperfusion and peaked within 2 h of reperfusion in the penumbra, but not in the ischemic core, in MCAO rats. Atorvastatin pretreatment prevented these increases, blunted expression of membrane subunit gp91(phox), and prevented translocation of cytoplasmic subunit p47(phox) to the membrane in the penumbra 2 h after reperfusion. Consequently, cerebral infarct volume was significantly reduced in atorvastatin-treated compared with nontreated MCAO rats 24 h after reperfusion. These results indicate that atorvastatin protects against cerebral infarction via inhibition of NADPH oxidase-derived superoxide in transient focal ischemia.

PMID:
16766636
DOI:
10.1152/ajpheart.01270.2005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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