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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1997 May;17(5):483-90.

TNF-alpha pretreatment induces protective effects against focal cerebral ischemia in mice.

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Stroke Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-4128, USA.


Cytokines are recognized to play an important role in acute stroke. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) is one of the pro-inflammatory cytokines and is expressed in ischemic brain. We hypothesized that TNF might play a role in the regulation of tolerance to ischemia when administered prior to the ischemic episode. We studied the effects of pretreatment of TNF administered intravenously, intraperitoneally, or intracisternally in mice that were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) 48 h later. MCAO was performed in BALB/C mice by direct cauterization of distal MCA, which resulted in pure cortical infarction. A significant reduction in infarct size was noted in mice pretreated by TNF at the dose of 0.5 microgram/mouse (p < 0.01) intracisternally. At the doses used in this study, administration of TNF by intravenous or intraperitoneal routes was not effective. Immunohistochemical analysis of brains subjected to 24 h of MCAO revealed a significant decrease in CD11b immunoreactivity after TNF pretreatment compared with control MCAO. Preconditioning with TNF affects infarct size in a time- and dose-dependent manner. TNF induces significant protection against ischemic brain injury and is likely to be involved in the signaling pathways that regulate ischemic tolerance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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