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Title: Progesterone is neuroprotective following cerebral ischaemia in reproductively ageing female mice.
Authors: Gibson, CL
Coomber, B
Murphy, SP
First Published: Jul-2011
Citation: BRAIN, 2011, 134 (Pt 7), pp. 2125-2133
Abstract: Gender differences in both vulnerability to stroke and outcome following cerebral ischaemia have frequently been observed and attributed to the action of steroid hormones. Progesterone is a candidate neuroprotective factor for stroke; however, studies are lacking which: (i) study those groups representing high risk i.e. postmenopausal females; (ii) administer progesterone solely post-ischaemia; and (iii) combine histopathological and functional assessments. Postmenopausal females, along with males, represent the group at highest risk of cerebral stroke and can be modelled using aged or ovariectomized animals. In the current study, we aimed to determine the neuroprotective effects of progesterone administration following cerebral ischaemia in aged and ovariectomized mice. Following transient middle cerebral artery occlusion, progesterone was administered at 1, 6 and 24 h post-ischaemia to aged and ovariectomized female mice. At 48 h post-ischaemia, progesterone significantly reduced the lesion volume (P < 0.05) but had no effect on neurological outcome in aged female mice. Whereas in ovariectomized mice, at 48 h post-ischaemia, progesterone treatment had no effect on the amount of lesion volume present but did significantly improve neurological outcome. In a further study of ovariectomized mice, allowed to survive for 7 days post-ischaemia, progesterone treatment significantly improved motor outcome as assessed using both the rotarod and grid test. In fact, by 7 days post-ischaemia, progesterone-treated ovariectomized mice did not differ significantly in performance compared with shams, whereas vehicle-treated ovariectomized mice displayed a significant functional impairment following ischaemia. The current study has demonstrated that progesterone has different neuroprotective effects whether it is administered to aged or ovariectomized female mice and emphasizes the need to combine histopathological and functional outcomes within the same study. In addition, as progesterone-only treatment may not improve all outcomes in all groups, therapies that combine progesterone with other neuroprotective candidates should be investigated to maximize benefit following stroke.
DOI Link: 10.1093/brain/awr132
eISSN: 1460-2156
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Psychology

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