Blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors may protect against ischemic damage in the brain

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Science  16 Nov 1984:
Vol. 226, Issue 4676, pp. 850-852
DOI: 10.1126/science.6093256


In rats ischemia of the forebrain induced by a 30-minute occlusion of the carotid artery, followed by 120 minutes of arterial reperfusion, produced ischemic lesions of selectively vulnerable pyramidal cells in both hippocampi. Focal microinfusion into the dorsal hippocampus of 2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid, an antagonist of excitation at the N-methyl-D-aspartate-preferring receptor, before ischemia was induced protected against the development of ischemic damage. It is proposed that excitatory neurotransmission plays an important role in selective neuronal loss due to cerebral ischemia.

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