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Eur J Pharmacol. 1995 Dec 20;287(3):295-302.

Cerebral ischemia in gerbils: effects of acute and chronic treatment with adenosine A2A receptor agonist and antagonist.

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Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, NIH/NIDDK, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Despite significant progress in understanding of the potential of adenosine A1 receptor-based therapies in treatment of cerebral ischemia and stroke, very little is known about the effect of selective stimulation of adenosine A2A receptors on the outcome of a cerebrovascular arrest. In view of a major role played by adenosine A2 receptors in the regulation of cerebral blood flow, we have investigated the effect of both acute and chronic administration of the selective adenosine receptor agonist 2-[(2-aminoethylamino)-carbonylethylphenylethylamino]-5'-N- ethylcarboxoamidoadenosine (APEC) and antagonist 8-(3-chlorostyryl)caffeine (CSC) on the outcome of 10 min ischemia in gerbils. Acute treatment with APEC improved recovery of postischemic blood flow and survival without affecting neuronal preservation in the hippocampus. Acute treatment with CSC had no effect on the cerebral blood flow but resulted in a very significant protection of hippocampal neurons. Significant improvement of survival was present during the initial 10 days postischemia. Due to subsequent deaths of animals treated acutely with CSC, the end-point mortality (14 days postischemia) in this group did not differ statistically from that seen in the controls. It is, however, possible that the late mortality in the acute CSC group was caused by the systemic effects of brain ischemia that are not subject to the treatment with this drug. Chronic treatment with APEC resulted in a statistically significant improvement in all studied measures. Although chronic treatment with CSC improved postischemic blood flow, its effect on neuronal preservation was minimal and statistically insignificant. Mortality remained unaffected. The results indicate that the acute treatment with adenosine A2A receptor antagonists may have a limited value in treatment of global ischemia. However, since administered CSC has no effect on the reestablishment of postischemic blood flow, treatment of stroke with adenosine A2A receptor antagonists may not be advisable. Additional studies are necessary to elucidate whether chronically administered drugs acting at adenosine A2 receptors may be useful in treatment of stroke and other neurodegenerative disorders.

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