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J Neurochem. 1993 Jul;61(1):378-81.

Aurintricarboxylic acid protects hippocampal neurons from NMDA- and ischemia-induced toxicity in vivo.

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Cephalon, Inc., West Chester, Pennsylvania 19382.


The polymeric dye aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) has been shown to protect various cell types from apoptotic cell death, reportedly through inhibition of a calcium-dependent endonuclease activity. Recent studies have indicated that there may be some commonalities among apoptosis, programmed cell death, and certain other forms of neuronal death. To begin to explore the possibility of common biochemical mechanisms underlying ischemia- or excitotoxin-induced neuronal death and apoptosis in vivo, gerbils or rats subjected to transient global ischemia or NMDA microinjection, respectively, received a simultaneous intracerebral infusion of ATA or vehicle. As a biochemical marker of neuronal death, spectrin proteolysis, which is mediated by activation of calpain I, was measured in hippocampus after 24 h. ATA treatment resulted in a profound reduction of both NMDA- and ischemia-induced spectrin proteolysis, consistent with the possibility of some common mechanism in apoptosis and other forms of neuronal death in vivo.

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