Interaction between free radicals and excitatory amino acids in the formation of ischemic brain edema in rats.
Both oxygen free radicals and excitatory amino acids have been implicated as important cellular toxins in ischemic brain. Recent in vitro studies suggest that there may be a mutual interaction between these two mediators. We explored the relation between oxygen free radicals and excitatory amino acids in the development of ischemic brain edema in vivo. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with the free radical scavenger dimethylthiourea 1 hour before ischemia or with the excitotoxin antagonist MK-801 30 minutes before ischemia produced by occlusion of the middle cerebral artery. Groups of seven or eight animals were treated with vehicle, low-dose (375 mg/kg) dimethylthiourea, high-dose (750 mg/kg) dimethylthiourea, low-dose (0.5 mg/kg) MK-801, high-dose (2.0 mg/kg) MK-801, or both high-dose dimethylthiourea and low-dose MK-801. After 4 hours of ischemia, brain water content was determined. In eight vehicle-treated controls, mean +/- SEM water content of tissue in the center of the ischemic zone was 83.29 +/- 0.18%. A significant reduction of brain edema was observed in all drug-treated groups: for example, 50.2% (p less than 0.001) in the high-dose dimethylthiourea group, 53.7% (p less than 0.001) in the low-dose MK-801 group, and 66.4% (p less than 0.001) in the combined dimethylthiourea and MK-801 group. Combined treatment with dimethylthiourea and MK-801 provided no significant additive effect over that resulting from treatment with MK-801 alone.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association