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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1998 Jan;284(1):215-21.

Synthetic combined superoxide dismutase/catalase mimetics are protective as a delayed treatment in a rat stroke model: a key role for reactive oxygen species in ischemic brain injury.

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Eukarion, Inc., Bedford, Massachusetts, USA.


Stroke is a severe and prevalent syndrome for which there is a great need for treatment, including agents to block the cascade of brain injury that occurs in the hours after the onset of ischemia. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in this destructive process, but antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) have been unsatisfactory in experimental stroke models. This study is an evaluation of the effectiveness of salen-manganese complexes, a class of synthetic SOD/catalase mimetics, in a rat focal ischemia model involving middle cerebral artery occlusion. We focus on EUK-134, a newly reported salen-manganese complex demonstrated here to have greater catalase and cytoprotective activities and equivalent SOD activity compared with the previously described prototype EUK-8. The administration of EUK-134 at 3 hr after middle cerebral artery occlusion significantly reduced brain infarct size, with the highest dose apparently preventing further infarct growth. EUK-8 was also protective but substantially less effective. These findings support a key role for ROS in the cascade of brain injury after stroke, even well after the onset of ischemia. The enhanced activity of EUK-134 suggests that, in particular, hydrogen peroxide contributes significantly to this injury. Overall, this study suggests that synthetic SOD/catalase mimetics might serve as novel, multifunctional therapeutic agents for stroke.

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