AMPA Antagonists: Do They Hold More Promise for Clinical Stroke Trials Than NMDA Antagonists?

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The cytoprotective effects of MK-801 and NBQX, selective N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) receptor antagonists, respectively, were compared both singularly and in combination in models of transient severe forebrain and transient focal cerebral ischemia. After 10 minutes of four-vessel occlusion ischemia, the sodium salt of NBQX (30 mg/kg IP) given at the time of reperfusion and, subsequently, 15 and 30 minutes later produced a dramatic reduction in CA1 hippocampal necrosis at 7 days. This effect was not obtained with the intraperitoneal administration of either MK-801 (1 mg/kgx3) or the combination of both NBQX and MK-801 given at the same time intervals. This effect of intraperitoneal NBQX alone was reproduced in a two-vessel occlusion/hypotension model using this same drug administration. Delayed treatment with both NBQX and GYKI 52466, but neither MK-801 nor the combination of NBQX and MK-801 given after a delay, produced a significant reduction in the mean volume of neocortical infarction after transient focal ischemia. We conclude that the AMPA receptor may play a more important role than the NMDA receptor in both selective ischemic necrosis of hippocampal neurons and in neocortical infarction. AMPA antagonists should be subjected to clinical stroke trials. (Stroke. 1993;24[suppl I]:I-148-I-152.)

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