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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1994 Nov;14(6):887-91.

Attenuation of p53 expression protects against focal ischemic damage in transgenic mice.

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Division of Pharmacology, Burroughs Wellcome Company, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.


Apoptosis or programmed cell death may be involved in neuronal death in the cerebral cortex after a permanent focal ischemic insult. Studies indicate that protein p53 is a major determinant of the cellular mechanism that leads to programmed cell death. Wild-type C57 mice and two groups of transgenic C57 mice, one homozygous and the other heterozygous for a p53 null gene, were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion. As expected, the wild-type mice had a large, consistent infarct volume (22.11 +/- 4.59 mm3; n = 10). Both transgenic groups had significantly less ischemic damage than the wild-type control group. However, unexpectedly, the heterozygous group had the least amount of ischemic damage (16.12 +/- 1.71 mm3, n = 11; 27% reduction in infarct size). The ischemic damage in the homozygous group (18.72 +/- 3.48 mm3, n = 9) was significantly less than in the wild-type control (15% reduction in infarct size) but significantly more than in the heterozygous group. Thus, although the absence of p53 expression was protective, greater protection was afforded by reduced expression of p53. These data suggest that attenuated p53 expression may be protective after an ischemic event.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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