Cyclophosphamide is neuroprotective in a gerbil model of transient severe focal cerebral ischemia: Correlation with effects of tirilazad mesylate (U-74006F)

Lawrence R. Williams, Jo A. Oostveen, Edward D. Hall, Robert A. Jolly, Paul S. Satoh, Thomas W. Petry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Using a gerbil model of severe, temporary focal ischemia (3 h unilateral carotid occlusion), preliminary experiments identified an involvement of neutrophils in the reperfusion injury to the ischemic hemisphere. The present experiments were designed to (1) quantitate the temporal accumulation of neutrophils in the gerbil model, (2) determine if cyclophosphamide-induced neutropenia provided cytoprotection to the ischemic hemisphere, and (3) attempt to correlate the cytoprotective efficacy of tirilazad mesylate with possible effects on postischemic neutrophil accumulation. Following 3 h of unilateral carotid occlusion, animals were collected at increasing times of reperfusion and the CA1 region of the hippocampus and the lateral cortex were assessed for postischemic neuronal damage using a semiquantitative index (N.D.I.) of 0 (no damage) to 4 (>75% neuronal loss). The extent of neutrophil accumulation was determined by counting intensely cytochrome oxidase-positive cells. Minimal neuronal death was evident after 2 h of reperfusion, mean N.D.I. = 0.36. However, between 2 and 4 h of reperfusion, neuronal death did not increase. By 6 h of reperfusion, the neuronal death began to proceed at an accelerated rate, N.D.L = 0.78. By 12 h, the N.D.I. reached 3.20. The accelerated neuronal death coincided with parenchymal invasion of neutrophils. Cyclophosphamide administration delayed neuronal death in the hippocampus, but exhibited a more sustained protective effect in the lateral cortex. Administration of tirilazad mesylate also resulted in a significant reduction in neutrophil accumulation and significant neuronal protection in both brain areas. Thus, in this gerbil model of transient, but prolonged focal cerebral ischemia, neutrophils appear to play an active role in the reperfusion injury to brain tissue. Our experiments confirm the previously demonstrated neuroprotective efficacy of tirilazad mesylate in this model and provide evidence for a similar protective effect of cyclophosphamide. Although other effects of this antioxidant are also thought to contribute to the overall efficacy, the data are consistent with the hypothesis that one mechanism by which tirilazad acts involves limiting the ability of neutrophils to participate in the reperfusion phase of ischemic cerebral injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-113
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996


  • Focal ischemia
  • Neuronal denta
  • Neutrophils
  • Reperfusion injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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