Cilostazol, a phosphodiesterase 3 inhibitor, protects mice against acute and late ischemic brain injuries

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Cilostazol, a selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 3, exerts neuroprotective effects on acute brain injury after cerebral ischemia in rats. However, it is unknown whether cilostazol affects the subacute or chronic ischemic injury. In the present study, we evaluated the dose- and time-dependent effects of cilostazol on acute ischemic brain injury and the long-lasting effect on the late (subacute/chronic) injury in mice with focal cerebral ischemia induced by transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. We found that pre-treatment of cilostazol (injected i.p. at 30 min before ischemia) significantly ameliorated the acute injury 24 h after ischemia, and the effective doses were 3–10 mg/kg. The post-treatment of cilostazol (10 mg/kg) was effective on the acute injury when it was injected 1 and 2 h after ischemia. In addition, for the late injury, post-treatment of cilostazol (10 mg/kg, i.p., for 7 consecutive days after ischemia) attenuated neurological dysfunctions, brain atrophy and infarct volume. It also inhibited astrocyte proliferation/glial scar formation and accelerated the angiogenesis in the ischemic boundary zone 7 and 28 days after ischemia. Thus, we conclude that cilostazol protects against not only the acute injury, but also the late injury in mice with focal cerebral ischemia; especially it can modify brain remodeling, astrogliosis and angiogenesis.

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