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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Donald G. Stein, Department of Emergency Medicine, Brain Research Laboratory, 1365B Clifton Road NE, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA; Phone: 404-712-2540; Fax: 404-727-2388; Email: donald.stein@emory.edu

Acknowledgments: We acknowledge Leslie McCann for her help in manuscript preparation.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by NIH grants R01 NS04851 and Rooms to Go Scholar award.


  • Progesterone
  • Brain damage
  • Permanent MCAO
  • Functional recovery
  • Infarct volume

Effects of progesterone administration on infarct volume and functional deficits following permanent focal cerebral ischemia in rats


Journal Title:

Brain Research


Volume 1257


, Pages 94-101

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Recent experimental evidence indicates that progesterone (PROG) protects against various models of brain injury, including ischemic stroke. Most human studies of pharmacologic treatments for acute cerebral stroke have failed despite initial success in animal models. To simulate better the typical human stroke without reperfusion, the present study was conducted to examine the efficacy of PROG on infarct volume and functional outcome in a permanent model of stroke, using direct cauterization of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Twenty-four male adult Sprague-Dawley rats underwent pMCAO by electro-coagulation and sham operation. After induction of permanent MCA occlusion (pMCAO), the rats received an initial intraperitoneal injection of PROG (8 mg/kg) or vehicle at 1h post-occlusion followed by subcutaneous injections at 6, 24 and 48 h. Functional deficits were tested on the rotarod and grip strength meter at 24, 48 and 72 h after pMCAO. The rats were killed 72 h after surgery and isolated brain was sectioned into coronal slices and stained with 2, 3, 5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC). PROG-treated rats showed a substantial reduction (54.05%) in the volume of the infarct (% contralateral hemisphere) compared to vehicle controls. In addition there was a significant improvement in ability to remain on an accelerating rotarod and increased grip strength observed in the pMCAO rats treated with PROG compared to vehicle. Taken together, these data indicate that PROG is beneficial in one of the best-characterized models of stroke, and may warrant further testing in future clinical trials for human stroke.

Copyright information:

© 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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