Neuroprotective effects of riluzole: An electrophysiological and histological analysis in an in vitro model of ischemia

Antonio Siniscalchi, Cristina Zona, Giuseppe Sancesario, Enza D'Angelo, Yong Chun Zeng, Nicola B. Mercuri, Giorgio Bernardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The protective effects of riluzole against the neuronal damage caused by O2 and glucose deprivation (ischemia) was investigated in rat cortical slices by recording electrophysiologically the cortico-cortical field potential and by evaluating histologically the severity of neuronal death. Five minutes of ischemia determined an irreversible depression of the amplitude of the field potential. In addition, this insult caused a clear enhancement of the number of death cells that were specifically colored with trypan blue (a vital colorant which stains altered cells). We found that riluzole, which by itself depressed the synaptic transmission, neuroprotected when perfused 15-20 min before and during ischemia. In fact, due to the treatment with riluzole, the ischemia-induced irreversible depression of the field potential recovered and less cells were stained with trypan blue. These findings demonstrate that riluzole prevents neuronal death in an in vitro model of ischemia and suggest a therapeutic use of this drug in order to reduce the pathophysiological outcomes of stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1999


  • Cerebral cortex
  • Field potential
  • Glucose and O deprivation
  • Neuronal death
  • Synaptic transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology


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