Iptakalim protects against hypoxic brain injury through multiple pathways associated with ATP-sensitive potassium channels.Neuroscience. 2008 Dec 10; 157(4):884-94.N
The rapid and irreversible brain injury produced by anoxia when stroke occurs is well known. Cumulative evidence suggests that the activation of neuronal ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels may have inherent protective effects during cerebral hypoxia, yet little information regarding the therapeutic effects of KATP channel openers is available. We hypothesized that pretreatment with a KATP channel opener might protect against brain injury induced by cerebral hypoxia. In this study, adult Wistar rats were treated with iptakalim, a new KATP channel opener, which is selective for SUR2 type KATP channels, by intragastric administration at doses of 2, 4, or 8 mg/kg/day for 7 days before being exposed to simulated high altitude equivalent to 8000 m in a decompression chamber for 8 h leading to hypoxic brain injury. By light and electron microscopic images, we observed that hypobaric hypoxia-induced brain injury could be prevented by pretreatment with iptakalim. It was also observed that the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, water content, Na+ and Ca2+ concentration, and activities of Na+,K+-ATPase, Ca2+-ATPase and Mg2+-ATPase in rat cerebral cortex were increased and the gene expression of the occludin or aquaporin-4 was down- or upregulated respectively, which could also be prevented by the pretreatment with iptakalim at doses of 2, 4, or 8 mg/kg in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, we found that in an oxygen-and-glucose-deprived model in ECV304 cells and rat cortical astrocytes, pretreatment with iptakalim significantly increased survived cell rates and decreased lactate dehydrogenate release, which were significantly antagonized by glibenclamide, a K(ATP) channel blocker. We conclude that iptakalim is a promising drug that may protect against brain injury induced by acute hypobaric hypoxia through multiple pathways associated with SUR2-type K(ATP) channels, suggesting a new therapeutic strategy for stroke treatment.