Neuroprotective effect of σ1-receptor ligand 4-phenyl-1-(4-phenylbutyl) piperidine (PPBP) is linked to reduced neuronal nitric oxide production

Toru Goyagi, Shozo Goto, Anish Bhardwaj, Valina L. Dawson, Patricia D. Hurn, Jeffrey R. Kirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - The potent σ1-receptor ligand 4-phenyl-1-(4-phenylbutyl) piperidine (PPBP) provides neuroprotection in experimental stroke, We tested the hypothesis that PPBP attenuates striatal tissue damage after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) by a mechanism involving reduction of ischemia-evoked nitric oxide (NO) production. Furthermore, we determined whether the agent fails to protect ischemic brain when neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is genetically deleted or pharmacologically inhibited (selective nNOS inhibitor, 7-nitroindazole [7-NI]). Methods - Halothane-anesthetized adult male Wistar rats were subjected to 2 hours of MCAO by the intraluminal filament occlusion technique. All physiological variables were controlled during the ischemic insult. In vivo striatal NO production was estimated via microdialysis by quantification of local, labeled citrulline recovery after labeled arginine infusion. In a second series of experiments, nNOS null mutants (nNOSKOs) and the genetically matched wild-type (WT) strain were treated with 90 minutes of MCAO. Brains were harvested at 22 hours of reperfusion for measurement of infarction volume by triphenyltetrazolium chloride histology. Results - PPBP attenuated infarction volume at 22 hours of reperfusion in cerebral cortex and striatum and markedly attenuated NO production in ischemic and nonischemic striatum during occlusion and early reperfusion. Treatment with 7-NI mimicked the effects of PPBP. In WT mice, infarction volume was robustly decreased by both PPBP and 7-NI, but the efficacy of PPBP was not altered by pharmacological nNOS inhibition in combined therapy. In contrast, PPBP did not decrease infarction volume in nNOSKO mice. Conclusions - These data suggest that the mechanism of neuroprotection of PPBP in vivo is through attenuation of nNOS activity and ischemia-evoked NO production. Neuroprotective effects of PPBP are lost when nNOS is not present or is inhibited; therefore, PPBP likely acts upstream from NO generation and its subsequent neurotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1613-1620
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral ischemia, focal
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Infarction
  • Nitric oxide
  • Receptors
  • Reperfusion
  • Sigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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