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Neuroscience. 2010 Aug 25;169(2):758-69. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.05.038. Epub 2010 May 24.

Isoflurane preconditioning neuroprotection in experimental focal stroke is androgen-dependent in male mice.

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Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


Isoflurane preconditioning neuroprotection in experimental stroke is male-specific. The role of androgens in the ischemic sensitivity of isoflurane preconditioned male brain and whether androgen effects are androgen receptor dependent were assessed. Male C57BL/6 mice were implanted with flutamide (androgen receptor antagonist), or castrated and implanted with testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, flutamide, letrozole (aromatase inhibitor), or vehicle 7-13 days before preconditioning. P450 estrogen aromatase wild-type and knockout mice were also evaluated. All mice were preconditioned for 4 h with 0% (sham preconditioning) or 1% isoflurane (isoflurane preconditioning) and recovered for 24 h. Mice then underwent 2 h of middle cerebral artery occlusion and were evaluated 22 h later for infarct volume. For neurobehavioral outcomes, sham and isoflurane preconditioned castrated male+/-dihydrotestosterone groups underwent 1 h of middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by 9 days of reperfusion. Isoflurane preconditioning neuroprotection relative to infarct volume outcomes were testosterone and dihydrotestosterone dose-specific and androgen receptor-dependent. Relative to long-term neurobehavioral outcomes, front paw sensorimotor function improved in isoflurane preconditioned mice regardless of androgen status while androgen replacement independently improved sensorimotor function. In contrast, isoflurane preconditioning improved cognitive function in castrates lacking endogenous androgens, but this improvement was absent in androgen replaced mice. Our findings suggest that androgen availability during isoflurane preconditioning may influence infarct volume and neurobehavioral outcomes in male mice following experimental stroke.

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