Memantine Improves Safety of Thrombolysis for Stroke
Background and Purpose—Despite side effects including N-methyl-d-aspartate-mediated neurotoxicity, recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rtPA) remains the only approved acute treatment for ischemic stroke. Memantine, used for treatment of Alzheimer disease, is an antagonist for N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors. We investigated whether memantine could be used as a neuroprotective adjunct therapy for rtPA-induced thrombolysis after stroke.
Methods—In vitro N-methyl-d-aspartate exposure, oxygen and glucose deprivation, and N-methyl-d-aspartate-mediated calcium videomicroscopy experiments were performed on murine cortical neurons in the presence of rtPA and memantine. The therapeutic safety of rtPA and memantine coadministration was evaluated in mouse models of thrombotic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage. Ischemic and hemorrhagic volumes were assessed by MRI and neurological evaluation was performed by the string test and automated gait analysis.
Results—Our in vitro observations showed that memantine was able to prevent the proneurotoxic effects of rtPA in cultured cortical neurons. Although memantine did not alter the fibrinolytic activity of rtPA, our in vivo observations revealed that it blunted the noxious effects of delayed thrombolysis on lesion volumes and neurological deficits after ischemic stroke. In addition, memantine rescued rtPA-induced decrease in survival rate after intracerebral hemorrhage.
Conclusions—Memantine could be used as an adjunct therapy to improve the safety of thrombolysis.
- glutamatergic transmission
- ischemic/hemorrhagic strokes
- sensorimotor functions
- Received July 10, 2012.
- Accepted July 18, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.