Antithrombin reduces ischemic volume, ameliorates neurologic deficits, and prolongs animal survival in both transient and permanent focal ischemia

Ornella Cuomo, Giuseppe Pignataro, Rosaria Gala, Antonella Scorziello, Elvira Gravino, Ornella Piazza, Rosalba Tufano, Gianfranco Di Renzo, Lucio Annunziato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - Antithrombin (AT), a glycoprotein belonging to the serpin family, blocks thrombin formation and activity at several steps. Thrombin, beside its relevant role in the coagulation cascade, exerts neurodetrimental effects through the activation of a family of protease-activated receptors, which can be implicated in stroke pathophysiology. The aims of the present study were to evaluate whether AT could reduce brain damage, ameliorate neurologic deficits, and prolong animal survival. METHODS - Two different doses of AT (10 and 30 IU/kg IP) were administered 3 hours, 6 hours, or 3 and 6 hours after an ischemic insult to mice and rats subjected to either transient or permanent focal ischemia. Ischemic volume was evaluated 24 hours or 7 days after the ischemic insult. Neurologic deficits were also scored. RESULTS - In mice, 10 or 30 IU/kg AT administered twice, at 3 and 6 hours after transient ischemia, and 30 IU/kg AT administered 3 hours only after transient ischemia substantially reduced total ischemic volume, significantly improved neurologic deficits evaluated 24 hours after the insult, and prolonged animal survival. In rats, the same doses given at the same time intervals significantly reduced ischemic volume, evaluated 24 hours after permanent ischemia. CONCLUSIONS - These results indicate that AT remarkably reduces infarct volume, ameliorates neurologic deficit scores, and prolongs animal survival in 2 rodent models of brain ischemia. Taken together, our data suggest that AT, delivered via systemic administration, an easily achievable route of administration and in a clinically useful time window, could represent a new therapeutic strategy to be validated for the clinical treatment of human stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3272-3279
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Middle cerebral artery occlusion
  • Neuroprotection
  • Protease-activated receptors
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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