Acetaminophen reduces mitochondrial dysfunction during early cerebral postischemic reperfusion in rats

Sunanda S. Baliga, Kathryn M. Jaques-Robinson, Norell M. Hadzimichalis, Roseli Golfetti, Gary F. Merrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Acetaminophen, a popular analgesic and antipyretic, has been found to be effective against neuronal cell death in in vivo and in vitro models of neurological disorders. Acute neuronal death has been attributed to loss of mitochondrial permeability transition coupled with mitochondrial dysfunction. The potential impact of acetaminophen on acute injury from cerebral ischemia-reperfusion has not been studied. We investigated the effects of acetaminophen on cerebral ischemia-reperfusion-induced injury using a transient global forebrain ischemia model. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received 15 mg/kg of acetaminophen intravenously during ischemia induced by hypovolemic hypotension and bilateral common carotid arterial occlusion, which was followed by reperfusion. Acetaminophen reduced tissue damage, degree of mitochondrial swelling, and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Acetaminophen maintained mitochondrial cytochrome c content and reduced activation of caspase-9 and incidence of apoptosis. Our data show that acetaminophen reduces apoptosis via a mitochondrial-mediated mechanism in an in vivo model of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion. These findings suggest a novel role for acetaminophen as a potential stroke therapeutic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-154
Number of pages13
JournalBrain research
StatePublished - Mar 10 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Acetaminophen
  • Apoptosis
  • Mitochondria
  • Stroke


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