We studied the effects of the calcium channel blocker nicardipine on regional tissue Ca2+, Na+, K+, and water shifts in the brains of seven Sprague-Dawley rats after permanent occlusions of the middle cerebral artery. We also assessed the entry of [14C]nicardipine into the brains of five rats; the highest concentrations of [14C]nicardipine were in the infarcted area. Nicardipine treatment significantly reduced Ca2+ accumulation in the middle cerebral artery territory by 60% compared with six untreated rats 6 hours after arterial occlusion. Eight 125-μg/kg boluses of nicardipine given every 30 minutes starting 5 minutes after arterial occlusion also significantly reduced the Na+ and K+ shifts in the middle cerebral artery territory by 40% and 50%, respectively, 6 hours after arterial occlusion. Nicardipine appears to reduce Ca2+ accumulation more than it reduces Na+ and water accumulation and K+ loss. Our results suggest that a calcium channel blocker can protect brain tissues in a model of focal cerebral infarction by directly reducing Ca2+ entry into ischemic cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing
- Brain edema
- Calcium channel blockers
- Cerebral ischemia