Neuroprotective Efficacy of Microvascularly-Localized Versus Brain-Penetrating Antioxidants

E. D. Hall, P. K. Andrus, S. L. Smith, J. A. Oostveen, H. M. Scherch, B. S. Lutzke, T. J. Raub, G. A. Sawada, J. R. Palmer, L. S. Banitt, J. S. Tustin, K. L. Belonga, D. E. Aver, G. L. Bundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The 21-aminosteroid (lazaroid) tirilazad mesylate has been demonstrated to be a potent inhibitor of lipid peroxidation and to reduce traumatic and ischemic damage in a number of experimental models. Currently, tirilazad is being actively investigated in Phase III clinical trials in head and spinal cord injury, ischemic stroke and subarachnoid hemorrhage. This compound acts in large part to protect the microvascular endothelium and consequently to maintain normal blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and cerebral blood flow autoregulatory mechanisms. However, due to its limited penetration into brain parenchyma, tirilazad has generally failed to affect delayed neuronal damage to the selectively vulnerable hippocampal CA1 and striatal regions. Recently, we have discovered a new group of antioxidant compounds, the pyrrolopyrimidines, which possess significantly improved ability to penetrate the BBB and gain direct access to neural tissue. Several compounds in the series, such as U-101033E, have demonstrated greater ability to protect the CA1 region in the gerbil transient forebrain ischemia model with a post-isehemic therapeutic window of at least four hours. In addition, U-101033E has been found to reduce infarct size in the mouse permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion model in contrast to tirilazad which is minimally effective. These results suggest that antioxidant compounds with improved brain parenchymal penetration are better able to limit certain types of ischemic brain damage compared to those which are localized in the cerebral microvasculature. On the other hand, microvascularly-localized agents like tirilazad appear to have better ability to limit BBB damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalActa Neurochirurgica, Supplement
Issue number66
StatePublished - 1996


  • Antioxidant
  • Ischemia
  • Pyrrolopyrimidine
  • Tirilazad

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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