The protective effect of l-threo-3,4-dihydroxyphenylserine on ischemic hippocampal neuronal death in gerbils

Tsong Hai Lee, Koji Abe, Masashi Aoki, Mitsutaka Nakamura, Kyuya Kogure, Yasuto Itoyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background and PurposeL-Threo-3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-serine (DOPS) is reported to increase the nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis in cultured mouse L-M fibroblast and astro-glial cells, and this effect is not blocked by treatment with decarboxylase inhibitor. NGF is suggested to play an important role in neuronal survival and regeneration under pathological conditions. We evaluated the possible protective effect of DOPS against hippocampal CA1 cell death after transient forebrain ischemia in gerbils MethodsMale mongolian gerbils were treated with DOPS (30, 100, or 300 mg/kg IP) plus benserazide (10 mg/kg IP) (n=28) or vehicle (n=7) before 3.5 minutes of forebrain ischemia. For histopathologic study, the animals were decapitated 7 days after recirculation, and neuronal density of the hippocampal CA1 area was counted after cresyl violet staining. For immunohistochemical study, another group of gerbils (n=34) was recovered for 1, 3, and 8 hours and 1, 2, and 7 days, when they were decapitated. The brain sections were stained against NGF, NGF receptor, and HSP70 using the avidin-biotin-peroxidase method. ResultsPreservation of the hippocampal CA1 cells was found in the brains treated with 300 mg/kg DOPS plus benserazide (neuronal density, 125±24 cells per millimeter) compared with the vehicle-treated ones (49±11 cells per millimeter) (P<.01).The immunoreactive NGF was greatly reduced from 3 hours after recirculation in the vehicle group, but it was much less reduced in the 300-mg/kg-DOPS-plus-benserazide group as compared with the vehicle group. The immunoreactivity for NGF receptor was gradually induced from 1 hour after recirculation with the peak at 1 day in the vehicle group, but it was only slightly induced at 8 hours in the 300-mg/kg-DOPS-plus-benserazide group. HSP70 immunoreactivity was also induced from 3 hours with the peak at 1 day in the vehicle group. However, in the 300-mg/kg-DOPS-plus-benserazide group, the induction of HSP70 was found from 8 hours and was much less intensive. ConclusionsTreatment with DOPS is protective to the ischemic hippocampal CA1 cells, and the NGF-receptor system may play a role in this protective effect of DOPS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1431
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Gerbils
  • Hippocampus
  • Neuroprotection
  • Transient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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