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Brain Res. 2012 Jan 3;1427:23-34. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.10.026. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Repeated administration of exendin-4 reduces focal cerebral ischemia-induced infarction in rats.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chicago College of Pharmacy, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA.


Exendin-4 is a GLP-1 agonist that is clinically used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus and may also have neuroprotective effect. We explored the effect of repeated administration of exendin-4 (0.5 μg/kg, intraperitoneal twice a day for 7 days) on infarct volume, neurological deficit (neurological score, grip test, foot fault and rota rod tests), oxidative stress parameters (malondialdehyde, reduced glutathione, and superoxide dismutase) and expression of endothelin (ET) ET(A) and ET(B) receptors following cerebral ischemia produced in rats by permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Since ET(A) receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) are involved in cerebral ischemia, we determined the effect of a specific ET(A) receptor antagonist, BQ123 (1mg/kg, intravenously administered thrice: 30 min, 2h and 4h after MCAO for a total dose of 3 mg/kg) on cerebral ischemia in control and exendin-4 treated rats. Results indicate that exendin-4 treated rats had significant protection following MCAO induced cerebral ischemia. The infarct volume was 27% less compared to vehicle treated rats. The neurological deficit following MCAO was lower and oxidative stress parameters were improved in exendin-4 treated rats compared to control. BQ123 significantly improved infarct volume, oxidative stress parameters and neurological deficit in ischemic rats treated with vehicle or exendin-4. BQ123 induced protection from cerebral ischemia was similar in vehicle or exendin-4 treated rats. Expression of ET(A) receptors was significantly increased following cerebral ischemia which was not affected by exendin-4 treatment or by BQ123 administration. No change in expression of ET(B) receptors was observed following cerebral ischemia or any treatment. It is concluded that exendin-4 protects the CNS from damage due to cerebral ischemia by reducing oxidative stress and is independent of ET receptor involvement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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