Mexiletine and magnesium independently, but not combined, protect against permanent focal cerebral ischemia in Wistar rats.

Neurosurgical Service, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114, USA.
Journal of Neuroscience Research (Impact Factor: 2.73). 12/1999; 58(3):442-8. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4547(19991101)58:33.0.CO;2-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The neuroprotective effect of mexiletine (Mex), a potent Na(+) channel blocker which decreases neuronal energy demands and prevents energy depletion during ischemia, was evaluated in Wistar rats subjected to permanent middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion. Postmortem infarct volumes were determined by quantitative image analysis of triphenyltetrazolium (TTC)-stained brain sections. Pretreatment with Mex resulted in a significant infarct volume reduction when administered intraperitoneally, either at the dosage of 50 or 60 mg/kg, 1 hr before MCA occlusion (P < 0.05). Delayed treatment with Mex (50 mg/kg) also had neuroprotective effects when given at 0.5 hr (< 0.05), but not 2-4 hr, after MCA occlusion. Intraarterial administration of MgSO(4) (90 mg/kg), in combination with Mex at 60 mg/kg, showed no additive neuroprotective effect, although each agent independently reduced the MCA occlusion-induced infarction volume (P < 0.05). Our results indicate that a single, acute administration of Mex is neuroprotective against permanent focal cerebral ischemia, but perhaps chronic administration is needed to establish a more effective therapeutic window beyond 0.5 hr. Moreover, the present in vivo data do not favor a combined use of Mg(2+) with Mex for limiting ischemic injury in the brain, since these agents caused cardiopulmonary suppression, which may have led to the loss of the neuroprotective effect of each agent independently.

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