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Brain Res. 1998 Jun 15;796(1-2):296-8.

Testosterone increases and estradiol decreases middle cerebral artery occlusion lesion size in male rats.

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Department of Pharmacodynamics, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610, USA.


This study was undertaken to determine the effects of estrogen and testosterone on cerebral ischemic lesion size induced by middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion in male rats. Rats were gonadectomized and treated with testosterone, estrogen, or testosterone plus estrogen filled Silastic pellets. The animals were divided into 6 groups: intact, intact + estrogen (E2), castrate, castrate + testosterone (T), castrate + E2, and castrate + T + E2. One week after treatment, cerebral ischemia was induced by MCA occlusion for 40 min, followed by reperfusion. After 24 h, rats were sacrificed and slices were then stained to assess lesion size. The presence of testosterone increased and the removal of testosterone decreased lesion size. A strong positive correlation (r2 = 0.922) between plasma testosterone concentrations and ischemic lesion size was observed. Estradiol treatment reduced ischemic area. In summary, the present study provides evidence that testosterone exacerbates and estrogens ameliorate ischemic brain damage in an animal model of cerebral ischemia.

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