Postischemic (S)-emopamil therapy ameliorates focal ischemic brain injury in rats

Eiharu Morikawa, Myron D. Ginsberg, W. Dalton Dietrich, Robert C. Duncan, Raul Busto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


(S)-Emopamil is a calcium channel blocker of the phenylalkylamine class, having potent serotonin S2 antagonistic properties and high blood-brain barrier penetrability. Previous studies have documented cerebroprotective effects in animal models of both focal and global ischemia. The present study was undertaken to define the postischemic "window" of therapeutic efficacy for this agent. Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to permanent proximal middle cerebral artery occlusion, combined with an initial 30-minute period of halothane-induced hypotension (50 mm Hg). (S)-Emopamil (20 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally either 20-30 minutes prior to middle cerebral artery occlusion or 1 hour, 2 hours, or 3 hours following occlusion. Treated groups received a second similar dose 2.5 hours later and twice daily for 2 days thereafter. Brains were perfusion-fixed on the third day. Planimetric analysis of hemotoxylin and eosin-stained coronal brain sections documented a cortical infarct averaging 72.9±33.3 mm3 (mean±SD) in untreated rats. Cortical infarct volume was reduced by 48% (to 37.6±27.6 mm3) when therapy was initiated 1 hour postischemia (p<0.05). When treatment was deferred to 2 hours postischemia, mean cortical infarct volume was reduced by 34%, but this difference did not attain statistical significance. Infarct volume in rats with treatment initiated at 3 hours postischemia was indistinguishable from that in controls. Striatal infarct volume was similar in all groups. These results document a postischemic therapeutic window of cerebroprotection for (S)-emopamil lying between 1 and 2 hours after middle cerebral artery occlusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-359
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1991


  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Neuroprotection
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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