Volume 103, Issue 4 p. 2030-2036
Free Access

The neuroprotective action of dizocilpine (MK-801) in the rat middle cerebral artery occlusion model of focal ischaemia

R. Gill

R. Gill

Merck, Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories, Neuroscience Research Centre, Terlings Park, Eastwick Road, Harlow, Essex

Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, Royal College Street, London NW1 0TU.

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C. Brazell

C. Brazell

Merck, Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories, Neuroscience Research Centre, Terlings Park, Eastwick Road, Harlow, Essex

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G.N. Woodruff

G.N. Woodruff

Merck, Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories, Neuroscience Research Centre, Terlings Park, Eastwick Road, Harlow, Essex

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J.A. Kemp

Corresponding Author

J.A. Kemp

Merck, Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories, Neuroscience Research Centre, Terlings Park, Eastwick Road, Harlow, Essex

Merck, Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories, Neuroscience Research Centre, Terlings Park, Eastwick Road, Harlow, EssexSearch for more papers by this author
First published: August 1991
Citations: 119

Abstract

  • 1

    An acute model of focal ischaemia, which involves permanent occlusion of the middle cerebral artery of the rat with 4 h survival, was used to find the minimum effective plasma concentration of dizocilpine (MK-801) and to determine its dose-effect relationship.

  • 2

    MK-801 was administered at the time of occlusion and was given as an i.v. bolus followed by an infusion for 4 h to maintain a steady state plasma concentration of the drug throughout the study. MK-801 was given at 3 dose levels; 0.04 mg kg−1 i.v. bolus + 0.6 μg kg−1 min−1 infusion; 0.12 mg kg−1 i.v. bolus + 1.8 μg kg−1 min−1 infusion; 0.4 mg kg−1 i.v. bolus + 6 μg kg−1 min−1 infusion, which gave mean plasma levels over the 4h of 8.0 ng ml−1, 18.9 ng ml−1 and 113.2 ng ml−1 respectively.

  • 3

    MK-801 at 8.0 ng ml−1 gave 10% reduction in the volume of ischaemic brain damage in the cerebral cortex which just reached significance. The middle dose of MK-801 (18.9 ng ml−1) gave a highly significant reduction in the volume of ischaemic brain damage in the cerebral cortex and hemisphere, volumes of ischaemic tissue being reduced by 60% and 50% compared to saline-treated animals, respectively. The highest plasma concentration of MK-801 (113.2 ng ml−1) resulted in a 35% reduction in the volume of hemispheric damage and a 40% reduction in the volume of cortical damage, which were significant.

  • 4

    The reduction in the amount of protection afforded by the highest dose of MK-801 may be due to the hypotensive effect of this dose. There was no protection against the volume of damage in the caudate nucleus for any of the doses of MK-801 tested.

  • 5

    Therefore the minimum effective plasma concentration of MK-801 was 8.0 ng ml−1, although the greatest protection was seen with a plasma level of 18.9 ng ml−1. This correlates well with the concentration of MK-801 required to block N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and prevent NMDA receptor mediated neurotoxicity in vitro.