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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2010 May;30(5):943-9. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2009.260. Epub 2009 Dec 23.

Agmatine attenuates brain edema through reducing the expression of aquaporin-1 after cerebral ischemia.

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Department of Anatomy, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.


Brain edema is frequently shown after cerebral ischemia. It is an expansion of brain volume because of increasing water content in brain. It causes to increase mortality after stroke. Agmatine, formed by the decarboxylation of L-arginine by arginine decarboxylase, has been shown to be neuroprotective in trauma and ischemia models. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of agmatine for brain edema in ischemic brain damage and to evaluate the expression of aquaporins (AQPs). Results showed that agmatine significantly reduced brain swelling volume 22 h after 2 h middle cerebral artery occlusion in mice. Water content in brain tissue was clearly decreased 24 h after ischemic injury by agmatine treatment. Blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption was diminished with agmatine than without. The expressions of AQPs-1 and -9 were well correlated with brain edema as water channels, were significantly decreased by agmatine treatment. It can thus be suggested that agmatine could attenuate brain edema by limiting BBB disruption and blocking the accumulation of brain water content through lessening the expression of AQP-1 after cerebral ischemia.

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