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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1995 Jul;15(4):619-23.

Basic fibroblast growth factor protects against excitotoxicity and chemical hypoxia in both neonatal and adult rats.

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Neurochemistry Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.


Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is a polypeptide growth factor that promotes neuronal survival. We recently found that systemic administration of bFGF protects against both excitotoxicity and hypoxia-ischemia in neonatal animals. In the present study, we examined whether systemically administered bFGF could prevent neuronal death induced by intrastriatal injection of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) or chemical hypoxia induced by intrastriatal injection of malonate in adult rats and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) in neonatal rats. Systemic administration of bFGF (100 micrograms/kg) for three doses both before and after intrastriatal injection of either NMDA or malonate in adult rats produced a significant neuroprotective effect. In neonatal rats, bFGF produced dose-dependent significant neuroprotective effects against MPP+ neurotoxicity, with a maximal protection of approximately 50% seen with either a single dose of bFGF of 300 micrograms/kg or three doses of 100 micrograms/kg. These results show that systemic administration of bFGF is effective in preventing neuronal injury under circumstances in which the blood-brain barrier may be compromised, raising the possibility that this strategy could be effective in stroke.

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