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  • Author or Editor: Aij-Lie Kwan x
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Huei-Chuan Shih, Chih-Lung Lin, Shu-Chuan Wu, Aij-Lie Kwan, Yi-Ren Hong and Shen-Long Howng

Object

The authors previously demonstrated that 17β-estradiol benzoate (E2) treatment prevents subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)–induced cerebral vasospasm and preserves endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in male rats. Changes in the expression of estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes ERα and -β and their roles in the E2-mediated preservation of eNOS in SAH remain unknown. In the present study the effects of SAH on the expression of ERα and -β in the cerebral arteries were clarified, and the receptor roles in the E2-mediated preservation of eNOS expression in SAH were differentiated.

Methods

A 2-hemorrhage SAH model was induced by 2 autologous blood injections into the cisterna magna of adult male rats. The effect of SAH on ERα and -β expression was evaluated. Other rats subcutaneously received implanted Silastic tubes containing corn oil with E2 and daily injections of various doses of an ERα- (methyl-piperidinopyrazole [MPP]) or ERβ-selective antagonist (R,R-tetrahydrochrysene) after the first hemorrhage. The protein levels of ERα, ERβ, eNOS, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) from basilar arteries were examined using Western blot analysis, and their mRNAs were evaluated by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction.

Results

The ERα but not the ERβ was upregulated in the basilar artery after SAH. Treatment with MPP eliminated E2-mediated effects in SAH, relieved cerebral vasospasm, preserved eNOS expression, and suppressed iNOS expression.

Conclusions

Estrogen receptor α is upregulated in the basilar artery after SAH. Note that E2 exerts its protective effects through ERα-dependent pathways to relieve cerebral vasospasm and preserve eNOS expression. A selective ERα agonist may be the drug of choice for the treatment of patients with SAH.

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Chih-Lung Lin, Huei-Chuan Shih, Ann-Shung Lieu, Kung-Shing Lee, Aaron S. Dumont, Neal F. Kassell, Shen-Long Howng and Aij-Lie Kwan

Object

Impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation is present in vasospastic cerebral vessels after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and may result from deficient production of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) or increased production and/or activity of inducible NOS (iNOS). Accumulating evidence demonstrates that adenosine A2A receptors increase the production of NO by human and porcine arterial endothelial cells, which in turn leads to vasodilation. This study was designed to examine the effects of an adenosine A2A receptor agonist, (2(4-[2-carboxyethyl]phenyl)ethylamino)-5′-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (CGS 21680), in the prevention of SAH-induced vasospasm.

Methods

Experimental SAH was induced in Sprague–Dawley rats by injecting 0.3 ml of autologous blood into the cisterna magna of each animal. Intraperitoneal injections of CGS 21680 or vehicle were administered 5 minutes and 24 hours after induction of SAH. The degree of vasospasm was determined by averaging measurements of cross-sectional areas of the basilar artery (BA) 48 hours after SAH. Expression of eNOS and iNOS in the BA was also evaluated.

Prior to perfusion–fixation, there were no significant differences among animals in the control and treated groups in any physiological parameter that was recorded. The CGS 21680 treatment significantly attenuated SAH-induced vasospasm. Induction of iNOS mRNA and protein in the BA by the SAH was significantly diminished by administration of CGS 21680. The SAH-induced suppression of eNOS mRNA and protein was also relieved by the CGS 21680 treatment.

Conclusions

This is the first evidence that adenosine A2A receptor agonism is effective in preventing SAH-induced vasospasm without significant complications. The beneficial effect of adenosine A2A receptor agonists may be, at least in part, related to the prevention of augmented expression of iNOS and the preservation of normal eNOS expression following SAH. Adenosine A2A receptor agonism holds promise in the treatment of cerebral vasospasm following SAH and merits further investigation.