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Exp Neurol. 1997 Aug;146(2):435-43.

Postischemic infusion of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase or SOD:Tet451 reduces cerebral infarction following focal ischemia/reperfusion in rats.

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  • 1Cecil B. Day Laboratory for Neuromuscular Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown 02129, USA.


Oxygen-free radicals play a major role in neuronal cell injury following cerebral ischemia/reperfusion. The free-radical scavenging enzyme, Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD-1), ameliorates various types of brain injury resulting from temporary CNS ischemia. We have compared the cerebroprotective properties of human SOD-1 (hSOD-1) with a novel recombinant SOD-1 hybrid protein, SOD:Tet451, composed of hSOD-1 linked to the neuronal binding fragment of tetanus toxin (TTxC). Following 2 h of temporary middle cerebral artery occlusion, rats infused with equivalent activities of either hSOD-1 or SOD:Tet451 for the initial 3 h of reperfusion showed reductions in cerebral infarct volume of 43 and 57%, respectively, compared to saline-treated controls (P < 0.01). Serum hSOD-1 concentrations in rats receiving SOD:Tet451 were seven-fold higher than those in rats receiving the native enzyme. Animals treated with SOD:Tet451 also demonstrated an extended persistence of hSOD-1 in the bloodstream during drug washout as compared to animals given free enzyme. Immunohistochemical examination of brain sections from an SOD:Tet451-treated ischemic rat showed positive immunoreactivity in the ipsilateral cerebral cortex using either anti-TTxC or anti-human SOD-1 antibodies. Our results document that both hSOD-1 and SOD:Tet451 significantly reduce brain infarct volume in a model of transient focal ischemia/reperfusion in rats. Additionally, our findings suggest that the cerebroprotective effects of SOD-1 may be enhanced by neuronal targeting as seen with the hybrid protein SOD:Tet451.

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