Dimethyl Fumarate Protects Brain From Damage Produced by Intracerebral Hemorrhage by Mechanism Involving Nrf2
Background and Purpose—Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) represents a devastating form of stroke for which there is no effective treatment. This preclinical study was designed to evaluate dimethyl fumarate (DMF), a substance recently approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, as therapy for ICH. We hypothesized that DMF through activating the master regulator of cellular self-defense responses, transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (Nrf2), would act as effective treatment for ICH-mediated damage.
Methods—Male rats and mice, including Nrf2 knockouts, were subjected to intracerebral injection of blood (to mimic ICH) and then treated with DMF. Neurological deficit, brain edema, gene induction profile and hematoma resolution were evaluated. Phagocytic functions of primary microglia in culture were used to study hematoma resolution.
Results—Treatment with DMF induced Nrf2-target genes, improved hematoma resolution, reduced brain edema, and ultimately enhanced neurological recovery in rats and wild-type, but not Nrf2 knockout, mice. Most importantly, the treatment of ICH with DMF showed a 24 h window of therapeutic opportunity.
Conclusions—A clinically relevant dose of DMF demonstrates potent therapeutic efficacy and impressive 24 h therapeutic window of opportunity. This study merits further evaluation of this compound as potential treatment for ICH in humans.
- Received March 11, 2015.
- Revision received April 9, 2015.
- Accepted April 23, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.