Dextromethorphan protects male but not female mice with brain ischemia

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The non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist dextromethorphan is protective against some types of brain injury. Unilateral carotid ligation in postnatal day 12 CD1 mice produces ischemic brain injury. To evaluate the neuroprotective potential of dextromethorphan against ischemic injury in the immature brain, seven litters of postnatal day 12 CD1 mice received either dextromethorphan or vehicle after a unilateral carotid ligation. Only the male pups were protected, and brain injury was unchanged in the female pups treated with dextromethorphan. These results suggest that dextromethorphan neuroprotection against ischemic injury in the immature brain is sex-dependent.

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