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Antioxidant reduces brain damage in stroke model

New research shows that a synthetic antioxidant can reduce brain damage by more than 40 percent in an animal model of stroke when given seven and a half hours after the stroke begins. Researchers at National Jewish Medical and Research Center and Duke University Medical Center will report their findings in the October issue of the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

"Because the onset of a stroke can be difficult to detect, many patients do not get treatment for several hours," said James Crapo, M.D., co-author and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at National Jewish. "Our findings suggest that the antioxidant is a promising candidate for stroke therapy because it can prevent damage so many hours after the stroke begins."

Strokes occur when blood supply to the brain is interrupted because blood vessels in the brain either leak or are blocked. Starved of oxygen, the brain cells die. However, cell death continues to occur for many hours, even after blood flow is returned to the brain. Many of the cells that are injured, but not killed by oxygen deprivation, die in the hours following the stroke. Free radicals, highly reactive molecules, kill many of those cells.

The researchers used a synthetic antioxidant, known as AEOL 10150, to neutralize the damaging free radicals and reduce cell death in a mouse model of stroke. AEOL 10150, developed by Dr. Crapo and his colleagues at Duke, mimics the naturally occurring antioxidant superoxide dismutase, but is effective against a wider range of oxygen radicals and lasts longer in the body. Now licensed by Incara Pharmaceuticals Corporation, they have shown promise in preventing damage to cells caused by diabetes and radiation therapy for cancer.

The researchers blocked the middle cerebral artery of rats for 90 minutes. They then injected AEOL 10150 or a placebo into the brains of these mice six hours after the artery had been reopened. The six-hour post-stroke time period has signifi
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Contact: William Allstetter
allstetterw@njc.org
303-398-1002
National Jewish Medical and Research Center
1-Oct-2002


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