Carnosine protects the brain of rats and Mongolian gerbils against ischemic injury: after-stroke-effect

Neurochem Res. 2005 Oct;30(10):1283-8. doi: 10.1007/s11064-005-8799-7.


Carnosine, a specific constituent of excitable tissues of vertebrates, exhibits a significant antioxidant protecting effect on the brain damaged by ischemic-reperfusion injury when it was administered to the animals before ischemic episode. In this study, the therapeutic effect of carnosine was estimated on animals when this drug was administered intraperitoneally (100 mg/kg body weight) after ischemic episode induced by experimental global brain ischemia. Treatment of the animals with carnosine after ischemic episode under long-term (7-14 days) reperfusion demonstrated its pronounced protective effect on neurological symptoms and animal mortality. Carnosine also prevented higher lipid peroxidation of brain membrane structures and increased a resistance of neuronal membranes to the in vitro induced oxidation. Measurements of malonyl dialdehyde (MDA) in brain homogenates showed its increase in the after brain stroke animals and decreased MDA level in the after brain stroke animals treated with carnosine. We concluded that carnosine compensates deficit in antioxidant defense system of brain damaged by ischemic injury. The data presented demonstrate that carnosine is effective in protecting the brain in the post-ischemic period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Brain Ischemia / metabolism
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology*
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Carnosine / therapeutic use*
  • Gerbillinae
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Survival Rate


  • Antioxidants
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Carnosine