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Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Vol. 30 (2007) No. 2 P 313-317



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We investigated the neuroprotective effect of tacrolimus (FK506) on the ischemia-reperfusion injury caused by transient focal brain ischemia induced by middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion for 60 min in rats. Neuronal damage visualized as a decrease of MAP2 immunoreactivity was observed in the cerebral cortex at 9 h after MCA occlusion and further expanded at 24 h. Hypoxic areas visualized with an immunohistochemical reaction for 2-nitroimidazole, a hypoxia marker (hypoxyprobe-1), and accumulation of granulocytes and platelets were also observed at 9 h and 24 h after MCA occlusion. Tacrolimus (1 mg/kg, i.v.), administered immediately after MCA occlusion, attenuated cortical damage and decreased the hypoxyprobe-1 positive area, as well as the number of granulocytes and platelets at 24 h after MCA occlusion. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that tacrolimus reduced the number of blood vessels positively stained for ICAM-1, E-selectin and P-selection. These results suggested that tacrolimus limited attachment of granulocytes and platelets to blood vessels by inhibiting the expression of adhesion molecules and protected neuronal tissue from hypoxic insults.

Copyright © 2007 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan

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