Quantitative analysis of effects of k-opioid agonists on postischemic hippocampal ca1neuronal necrosis in gerbils

Edward D. Hall, Kay E. Pazara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The ability of the K-opioid receptor agonists U50488H and U62066E (spiradoline mesylate) compared with the non-K close structural analogue U54494A to affect postischemic necrosis of the selectively vulnerable hippocampal CA, neurons was examined in male Mongolian gerbils. The gerbils were treated with either saline vehicle or 10 mg/kg i.p. of one of the test drugs 30 minutes before and again 2 hours after a 10-minute period of bilateral carotid artery occlusion or sham occlusion under light methoxyflurane anesthesia. Seven days after ischemia and reperfusion the brains were perfusion-fixed, and hippocampal CA, cells were counted in a blind fashion. In ischemic gerbils that received only vehicle, there was a 78.9% loss of CA, neurons compared with sham-occluded gerbils. In contrast, in U50488H-treated gerbils, mean cell loss was reduced to 33.9% (p<0.01 vs. vehicle-treated group). U62066E was even more effective in reducing postischemic CA, degeneration to only 20.7% (p<0.0001 vs. vehicle-treated group). However, treatment with the non-κ analogue U54494A did not cause any apparent protection; the gerbils in this group showed an 80.7% loss of CA1 neurons. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that κ-receptor stimulation is associated with improved postischemic neuronal preservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1012
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1988


  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Endorphins
  • Gerbils
  • Hippocampus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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