45Ca accumulation in rat brain after closed head injury; attenuation by the novel neuroprotective agent HU-211

V Nadler, A Biegon, E Beit-Yannai, J Adamchik, E Shohami

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45Ca accumulation was studied autoradiographically as a marker for lethally injured brain tissue following closed head injury (CHI), and applied to an investigation of the neuroprotective effect of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid (+)-(3S,4S)-7-hydroxy-D-6 tetrahydro-cannabinol 1,1-dimethylheptyl (HU-211). Amassment of 45Ca in rat brain was examined 24 or 72 h after induction of CHI in the left hemisphere by a weight-drop device. Concentration of 45Ca within 15 different brain regions was assessed by relative optical density. There was increased 45Ca accumulation in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the side of the insult as compared with the contralateral hemisphere. The highest density of radioactive labeling was found in the anterior cortex and in the frontal parts of the parietal cortex, with accumulation expanding as a function of time post injury. On the third day following trauma the amount of accumulated 45Ca was higher than that at 24 h after CHI, with more distant 45Ca-accumulating structures involved: the ventral posterolateral nucleus of the thalamus and the substantia nigra. Histological examination revealed necrotic tissue in the regions accumulating 45Ca. HU-211, a stereoselective inhibitor of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, was injected immediately after induction of trauma. One day after trauma, HU-211 had significantly decreased both the volume of the 45Ca accumulating zone and the concentration of the amassed radioisotope. In the HU-211 treated rats a considerable reduction in radioactive labeling was also found 72 h after trauma. The ability of HU-211 to decrease 45Ca accumulation after head trauma is probably due to its ability to attenuate Ca2+ fluxes through the NMDA receptor-mediated calcium channels and to reduce the depolarization evoked Ca2+ fluxes. On the basis of our results, HU-211 seems to be a promising therapeutic agent for head trauma in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 10 Jul 1995


  • (45)CALCIUM
  • HU-211


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