Protective effect of adenosine and a novel xanthine derivative propentofylline on the cell damage after bilateral carotid occlusion in the gerbil hippocampus

Brain Res. 1990 May 21;516(2):248-56. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(90)90925-2.


The role of adenosine in the development of ischemia induced pathological changes has been examined in Mongolian gerbils. A dramatic increase in the concentrations of adenosine, inosine and hypoxanthine was detected by microdialysis in the dorsal part of hippocampus and in the striatum immediately after 5 min bilateral occlusion of the carotid arteries. From a resting value of about 0.5 microM the concentration of adenosine increased to more than 10 microM. The adenosine levels became normalized within 30 min after ischemia. Inosine and hypoxanthine levels were higher and they increased and also returned towards control somewhat later than adenosine. A second occlusion resulted in a similar but somewhat smaller increase in purine levels. Carotid occlusion for up to 12 min had no major, lasting effect on the binding to adenosine A1-receptors in the CA-regions of the hippocampus, as determined by autoradiography. Neuronal and vascular changes (degeneration of neurons, mitochondrial destruction and ribosomal disaggregation, astroglial oedema) due to ischemia (3-12 min, followed by 48 h recirculation) was studied with light and electron microscopy in the selectively vulnerable CA1 area of hippocampus. In one series of experiments the adenosine antagonist theophylline (20 mg/kg i.p.), given 15 min prior to a 5 min occlusion, significantly enhanced the ischemia induced changes. In another experiment the adenosine uptake inhibitor propentofylline (HWA 285, 10 mg/kg), injected 15 min before a 12 min carotid occlusion, reduced the neuronal (90%) and astroglial changes (84%) due to ischemia.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / metabolism*
  • Adenosine / physiology
  • Animals
  • Gerbillinae
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / drug therapy*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / pathology
  • Male
  • Purinergic Antagonists*
  • Receptors, Purinergic / physiology
  • Theophylline / therapeutic use
  • Xanthines / therapeutic use*


  • Purinergic Antagonists
  • Receptors, Purinergic
  • Xanthines
  • propentofylline
  • Theophylline
  • Adenosine