Molecular Alterations and Effects of Acute Dehydroepiandrosterone Treatment Following Brief Bilateral Common Carotid Artery Occlusion: Relevance to Transient Ischemic Attack.

Affiliation

Department of Molecular Biology and Endocrinology, Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences, University of Belgrade, Mike Petrovica Alasa 12-14, 11351 Belgrade, Republic of Serbia. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Transient ischemic attack (TIA) represents brief neurological dysfunction of vascular origin without detectable infarction. Despite major clinical relevance characterization of post-TIA molecular changes using appropriate experimental model is lacking and no therapeutic agent has been established yet. Neurosteroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) arose as one of the candidates for cerebral ischemia treatment but its effects on TIA-like condition remain unknown. Seeking an animal model applicable for investigation of molecular alterations in mild ischemic conditions such as TIA, 15-min bilateral common carotid artery occlusion with 24-h reperfusion was performed to induce ischemia/ reperfusion (I/R) injury in adult male Wistar rats. Additionally, effects of 4-h post-operative DHEA treatment (20 mg/kg) were investigated in physiological and I/R conditions in hippocampus (HIP) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). The study revealed absence of sensorimotor deficits, cerebral infarcts and neurodegeneration along with preserved HIP and PFC overall neuronal morphology and unaltered malondialdehyde and reduced glutathione level following I/R and/or DHEA treatment. I/R induced nitric oxide burst in HIP and PFC was accompanied with increased neuronal nitric oxide synthase protein level exclusively in HIP. DHEA had no effects in physiological conditions, while increase of Bax/Bcl2 ratio and dissipation of mitochondrial membrane potential in treated I/R group suggested DHEA-mediated exacerbation of post-ischemic changes that might lead to pro-apoptotic events in HIP. Interestingly, DHEA restored I/R-induced NO to the control level in PFC. Obtained results indicated that I/R may serve as an appropriate model for investigation of molecular changes and treatment outcome following mild ischemic conditions such as TIA.

Keywords

cerebral ischemia/ reperfusion,dehydroepiandrosterone,hippocampus,prefrontal cortex,rat,transient ischemic attack,