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[(S)-Alpha-phenyl-2-pyridine-ethanamine dihydrochloride] (ARL 15896AR) is a low affinity uncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor antagonist that was tested in animal models of anoxia and ischemia. Pretreatment of rodents with ARL 15896AR extended survival time during exposure to hypoxia. With the rat four-vessel occlusion model of global ischemia (20 min), oral dosing commencing at reflow, resulted in significant protection of the CA1 hippocampal neurons. ARL 15896AR was, however, ineffective in the rat two-vessel occlusion model and in the gerbil models of forebrain ischemia, the latter due to an inability to attain suitable plasma levels. In the spontaneously hypertensive rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) (2 hr plus 22 hr reflow), acute dosing with ARL 15896AR (i.p.) beginning from 30 min before or up to 1 hr post-MCAO significantly reduced cortical infarct volume. The ability of ARL 15896AR to influence infarct size, as well as functional correlates was examined in SHR after 90 min of MCAO. T2 weighted magnetic resonance images taken at 2 and 6 days post-MCAO revealed significantly smaller lesion sizes in the group receiving injections with ARL 15896AR beginning 30 min after occlusion. Spontaneously hypertensive rats were subsequently tested (30-42 days post-MCAO) and found to be deficient in skilled use of the forepaws (staircase test). The contralateral forepaw was most severely impaired, however, ARL 15896AR treatment prevented motor impairment in only the ipsilateral forepaw. Histopathological examination of cortical infarct size was unremarkable between treated and control rats. The findings indicate that ARL 15896AR exhibits neuroprotection in global and focal models of ischemia


Journal article


J Pharmacol Exp Ther

Publication Date





1412 - 1424


Animals, Brain Ischemia, Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists, Female, Gerbillinae, Hippocampus, Hypoxia, Brain, Male, Mice, Motor Activity, Neuroprotective Agents, Pyridines, Rats, Rats, Inbred SHR, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate