(S)-emopamil protects against global ischemic brain injury in rats

Baowan Lin, W. Dalton Dietrich, Raul Busto, Myron D. Ginsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


(S)-Emopamil is a novel calcium channel blocker of the phenylalkylamine class, with potent serotonin S2 antagonist activity. We investigated the effect of (S)-emopamil on the histopathologic consequences of global brain ischemia in anesthetized rats. Pretreated rats (n=15) received 20 mg/kg i.p. (S)-emopamil 30 minutes before and 2 hours following 10 minutes of bilateral common carotid artery occlusion plus arterial hypotension (50 mm Hg). Quantitative cell counts following 3 days' survival revealed a marked loss of pyramidal neurons in all subsectors of the hippocampal CA1 area of untreated ischemic rats (n=15). In contrast, in (S)-emopamil pretreated rats numbers of normal neurons were significantly higher, by 2.4-, 1.9-, and 1.8-fold, respectively, in the medial, middle, and lateral subsectors of the CA1 area. For example, normal neuron counts in the medial CA1 subsector were 34±9 (mean±SEM) in untreated ischemic rats compared with 82±13 in (S)-emopamil pretreated rats (control nonischemic value [n=5] 157±2). By semiquantitative grading, (S)-emopamil also decreased ischemic changes in the cerebral cortex. No significant effect of (S)-emopamil on ischemic injury was detected in rats treated beginning 30 minutes after the ischemic insult (n=10). Thus, pretreatment with (S)-emopamil is beneficial in decreasing the severity of neuronal injury in global brain ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1734-1739
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1990


  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Neuroprotection
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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