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Cell Mol Neurobiol. 1995 Jun;15(3):341-9.

Time course of nitric oxide synthase activity in neuronal, glial, and endothelial cells of rat striatum following focal cerebral ischemia.

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Department of Hospital Pharmacy, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Japan.


1. The time course of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity in neuronal, endothelial, and glial cells in the rat striatum after middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion and reperfusion was examined using a histochemical NADPH-diaphorase staining method. 2. In sham-operated rats, neuronal cells of the striatum exhibited strong NADPH-diaphorase activities. When rats were subjected to MCA occlusion for 1 hr, neuronal damage, including neurons with positive NADPH-diaphorase activities, appeared in the striatum at 3 hr after and extended to all areas of the striatum 3-4 days after reperfusion. 3. NADPH-diaphorase activities in the endothelial cells increased in the damaged part of striatum from 3 hr after, peaked at 1-2 days after MCA occlusion/reperfusion, then gradually decreased. 4. In parallel with the development of neuronal damage, some astrocytes and a high proportion of microglia/macrophages located in the perisite and in the center of the damaged striatum, respectively, exhibited a moderate to high level of NADPH-diaphorase activities. Most of these activities disappeared at 4 days after MCA occlusion. 5. These findings provided evidence that an inappropriate activation of NOS in endothelial cells and microglia/macrophages, in response to MCA occlusion/reperfusion, is closely associated with initiation and progression of ischemic neuronal injury in the striatum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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