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The protective effects of plasma gelsolin on stroke outcome in rats

Huong T Le1, Aaron C Hirko2, Jeffrey S Thinschmidt2, Maria Grant2, Zhimin Li3, Joanna Peris3, Michael A King24, Jeffrey A Hughes5 and Sihong Song1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA

2 Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA

3 Department of Pharmacodynamics, University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA

4 Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Gainesville, FL 32602, USA

5 Medco School of Pharmacy, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ 07940, USA

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Experimental & Translational Stroke Medicine 2011, 3:13  doi:10.1186/2040-7378-3-13

Published: 2 November 2011



To date, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) is the only approved drug for ischemic stroke. It is intravenously administered functioning as a thrombolytic agent and is used to obtain reperfusion of the affected area of the brain. Excitotoxicity, inflammation and apoptosis are all involved in delayed neuronal death following stroke and offer multiple opportunities to intervene with neuroprotective agents. Gelsolin (GSN) is an actin- and calcium-binding protein mediating the disassembly of actin filaments and activity of calcium channels. It also functions as a regulator of apoptosis and inflammatory responses. This study tests the hypothesis that increasing the concentration of the form of GSN known as plasma GSN (pGSN) near an infarct will provide neuroprotection following ischemic stroke.


We induced middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in male rats via intracranial injection of endothelin-1 (ET-1), a potent vasoconstrictor, and then treated with local delivery of pGSN. Whole brain laser Doppler perfusion imaging was performed through the skull to assess MCAO effectiveness. Cylinder and vibrissae tests evaluated sensorimotor function before and 72 h after MCAO. Infarct volumes were examined 72 h after MCAO via 2, 3, 5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) assay.


Estimates of relative cerebral perfusion were significantly decreased in all groups receiving MCAO with no differences detected between treatments. Despite equivalent initial strokes, the infarct volume of the pGSN treatment group was significantly reduced compared with the untreated MCAO rats at 72 h. ET-1 induced significant deficits in both cylinder and vibrissae tests while pGSN significantly limited these deficits.


Gelsolin could be a promising drug for protection against neurodegeneration following ischemic stroke.

ischemic stroke; plasma gelsolin; protective effect; endothelin-1 induced MCAO