An in vitro model of ischemia was developed and characterized using the acute rat hippocampal slice preparation. Neuroprotective concentrations of several competitive and noncompetitive glutamate subtype-selective antagonists (CGS-19755, MK-801, YM90K and GYKI-52466) were initially determined in anoxia-enhanced agonist-induced excitotoxicity experiments. Concentrations which proved to be effective in these studies were subsequently tested for their effectiveness against an ischemic episode. Ischemia was defined as a 30-min exposure to aglycemic media ending in 5 min of concurrent anoxia, a protocol which was arrived at by empirically determining the effect of various hypoglycemic and anoxic insults on the ability of hippocampal slices to retain their electrophysiological viability. Exposure to such an ischemic episode resulted in a loss of viability by most slices, an effect which was strongly dependent on extracellular calcium. AMPA antagonists applied alone produced no neuroprotective effect in the present model of in vitro ischemia, while NMDA antagonists applied alone had a modest neuroprotective effect. In contrast, the coapplication of 10 μM MK-801 and 300 μM GYKI-52466, noncompetitive NMDA and AMPA receptor antagonists, respectively, resulted in almost complete neuroprotection. This protection was comparable to that obtained by withholding extracellular calcium, indicating that the toxic effects of glutamate receptor overstimulation can be accounted for solely by calcium influx. The effect of this combination treatment on the survival rate of hippocampal slices was synergistic, that is greater than the sum of the effects of the individual compounds. The results indicate that neuroprotection against acute ischemic insults may require a combination therapy approach.
Brain Research – Elsevier
Published: Jan 23, 1999
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