This study aimed to investigate the mechanism of cerebroprotection of platelet-activating factor(PAF) antagonists in transient cerebral ischemia of rat. Right middle cerebral artery(MCA) of Sprague-Dawley rat was occluded for 2 hours using an intraluminal filament technique. After 22 hours of reperfusion, morphometrically detectable infarct was developed in the cortex and striatum identical to the territory of MCA. The infarct size was significantly reduced by PAF antagonists, BN 52021 and CV-6209, as well as an inducible nitric oxide synthase(iNOS) inhibitor aminoguanidine(1 mg/kg, i.p., respectively) administered 5 min after MCA occlusion. PAF antagonists significantly inhibited the enzymatic activities of both myeloperoxidase and iNOS in the cerebral hemisphere ipsilateral to ischemia, whereas aminoguanidine did not inhibit myeloperoxidase activity but significantly inhibited the iNOS activity. These results suggest that PAF antagonists exert a cerebroprotective effect against ischemic brain damage through inhibition of leukocyte infiltration and iNOS activity in the postischemic brain.
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