Background & objectives: Ischemic stroke has complex pathophysiology and its treatment with single neuroprotective drugs has so far failed. Combination therapy could produce amplified protective effects via different mechanisms. We examined the neuroprotective effects of enalapril and/or alpha tocopherol against sensorimotor dysfunctions of ischemic stroke.
Methods: Forty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups (n=8): sham, control ischemic, enalapril (0.03 mg/kg), alpha tocopherol (30mg/kg) and enalapril plus alpha tocopherol treated groups. Transient focal cerebral ischemia (90 min) was induced by occlusion of the left middle cerebral artery that followed by 24 h reperfusion periods. Infarct volumes were detected by TTC coloring technique and sensorimotor dysfunctions investigated by rotarod, grip strength and hotplate tests.
Results: Induction of cerebral ischemia in the control group produced severe neurological sensorimotor deficits in conjunction with considerable cerebral infarctions. Compared with the enalapril or alpha tocopherol groups, the combined treatment significantly improved neurological motor and sensory functions (p=0.038 and p=0.034, respectively) and also reduced the infarct volume (p=0.032).
Conclusion: Administration of alpha tocopherol increased protective effects of enalapril. Enalapril combined with alpha tocopherol can produce an augmented protection against ischemic brain injury, and improvement in sensorimotor dysfunctions.