Bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) has been shown to enhance dendritic growth and improve functional recovery after experimental stroke. In this study, we examined the effect of BMP-7 on functional recovery, local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) and local cerebral glucose utilization (LCMRglu) following transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Sprague-Dawley rats (n=29) were anesthetized with halothane/nitrous oxide and received 2-h middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) by poly-L-lysine-coated intraluminal suture. Rectal and cranial temperatures were regulated at 37.0-37.5°C. BMP-7 or vehicle (volume, 25 μ1) was administered intracisternally in a blinded fashion at 24 h after MCAo. Neurological status was evaluated during occlusion (60 min) and daily for 2 days after MCAo. In matched animal groups, LCMRglu was measured autoradiographically with [14C]2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) and LCBF with [14C]iodoantipyrine 48 h after MCAo. Four animals groups were studied: LCMRglu series (BMP-7, n=7; vehicle, n=8); LCBF series (BMP-7, n=6; vehicle, n=8). Average three-dimensional image data sets were constructed for each group and were compared by pixel-based statistical methods. Rectal and cranial temperatures, mean blood pressure, plasma glucose and blood gases were similar among groups. BMP-7 significantly improved the total neurological score compared to vehicle at 48 h after MCAo (7.3±0.4 vs. 9.0±0.2, respectively; P<0.0003). Compared to vehicle-rats, BMP-7 enhanced glucose utilization in the basal ganglia ipsilateral to stroke and improved LCBF in ipsilateral subthalamus, but decreased LCBF and LCMRglu in contralateral cortical regions.
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