The goal of this study was to determine whether aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA), an endonuclease inhibitor known to inhibit apoptosis, could ameliorate cell damage in a gerbil model of transient ischemia. Transient ischemia was induced in gerbils by bilateral carotid artery occlusion for a period of 5 minutes. Four micrograms of ATA was administered intraventricularly 1 hour before ischemia, and the brains were assessed histologically 1 week later to quantitate cell loss in the vulnerable CA-1 subsector of the hippocampus. In a separate set of experiments, 4 μg of ATA was administered intraventricularly 1 hour before ischemia and the brains were assessed for evidence of DNA fragmentation by the TUNEL method. There was only a 16% cell loss compared with nonischemic controls in animals pretreated with ATA that was significantly less (p < 0.05) than the 48% cell loss in animals pretreated with saline alone. TUNEL-positive cells were first evident at 3 days and were still present at 7 days subsequent to ischemia. Maximal staining occurred at 4 days. Pretreatment with ATA virtually eliminated TUNEL staining at 4 days. These results support the hypothesis that the delayed cell death secondary to transient ischemia is, in part, apoptotic. Furthermore, ATA afforded significant neuronal protection and prevented DNA fragmentation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology