Efficacy of Novel Carbon Nanoparticle Antioxidant Therapy in a Severe Model of Reversible Middle Cerebral Artery Stroke in Acutely Hyperglycemic Rats
INTRODUCTION: While oxidative stress can be measured during transient cerebral ischemia, antioxidant therapies for ischemic stroke have been clinically unsuccessful. Many antioxidants are limited in their range and/or capacity for quenching radicals and can generate toxic intermediates overwhelming depleted endogenous protection. We developed a new antioxidant class, 40 nm × 2 nm carbon nanoparticles, hydrophilic carbon clusters, conjugated to poly(ethylene glycol) termed PEG-HCCs. These particles are high-capacity superoxide dismutase mimics, are effective against hydroxyl radical, and restore the balance between nitric oxide and superoxide in the vasculature. Here, we report the effects of PEG-HCCs administered during reperfusion after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) by suture in the rat under hyperglycemic conditions. Hyperglycemia occurs in one-third of stroke patients and worsens clinical outcome. In animal models, this worsening occurs largely by accelerating elaboration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during reperfusion. METHODS: PEG-HCCs were studied for their protective ability against hydrogen peroxide in b.End3 brain endothelial cell line and E17 primary cortical neuron cultures. In vivo, hyperglycemia was induced by streptozotocin injection 2 days before tMCAO. 58 Male Sprague-Dawley rats were analyzed. They were injected IV with PBS or PEG-HCCs (4 mg/kg 2×) at the time of recanalization after either 90- or 120-min occlusion. Rats were survived for up to 3 days, and infarct volume characteristics and neurological functional outcome (modified Bederson Score) were assessed. RESULTS: PEG-HCCs were protective against hydrogen peroxide in both culture models. In vivo improvement was found after PEG-HCCs with 90-min ischemia with reduction in infarct size (42%), hemisphere swelling (46%), hemorrhage score (53%), and improvement in Bederson score (70%) (p = 0.068-0.001). Early high mortality in the 2-h in the PBS control group precluded detailed analysis, but a trend was found in improvement in all factors, e.g., reduction in infarct volume (48%; p = 0.034) and a 56% improvement in Bederson score (p = 0.055) with PEG-HCCs. CONCLUSION: This nano-antioxidant showed some improvement in several outcome measures in a severe model of tMCAO when administered at a clinically relevant time point. Long-term studies and additional models are required to assess potential for clinical use, especially for patients hyperglycemic at the time of their stroke, as these patients have the worst outcomes.