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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2008 Jun;28(6):1104-13. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2008.4. Epub 2008 Mar 5.

Proliferating progenitor cells: a required cellular element for induction of ischemic tolerance in the brain.

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Dow Neurobiology Lab, Legacy Health Research, Portland, OR 97232, USA.


Permanent cerebral blood flow reduction results in brain injury (stroke), whereas transient ischemic stress results in preconditioning, which can ameliorate the extent of irreversible brain injury from subsequent ischemia-the phenomena of ischemic tolerance. Neurogenesis in the brain occurs after both ischemic injury and the brief ischemia resulting in preconditioning. As neurogenesis is regarded as having an intrinsic neuroprotective role in the brain, we investigated the possible role of these endogenous progenitor cells in the induction of ischemic tolerance. Methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) was injected in wild-type mice to attenuate precursor cell proliferation and ganciclovir was used to diminish newly generated cells in GFAP/HSV-TK mice. Both MAM and ganciclovir significantly attenuated ischemia-induced progenitor cell proliferation in the subventricular zone, dentate gyrus, penumbra, and corpus callosum as quantified by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine- or Ki-67-positive cells. Attenuation of ischemia-induced progenitor cell proliferation in the brain blocked the induction of ischemic tolerance. Further the number of TUNEL (TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling)-positive cells was considerably increased in MAM-treated animals, whereas MAM did not cause cell death in sham-operated controls. The results of this study suggest a role for endogenous progenitors in the protective effect of ischemic tolerance.

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