Recent studies have shown that ethyl pyruvate (EP) acts as an anti-inflammatory molecule in several cell lines including RAW264.7 macrophages. However, the potential therapeutic value of EP for the treatment of the pathologic brain has not been investigated fully. In the present study, we examined whether EP has a beneficial effect on KA-induced neuronal cell death. Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of 0.94 nmol (0.2 μg) of KA produced typical neuronal cell death in the CA1 and CA3 pyramidal layers of the hippocampus, and the systemic administration of EP significantly attenuated KA-induced neuronal cell death in these regions. Ethyl pyruvate was found to exert a protective effect when it was injected as late as 12 hr after KA-injection. Moreover, this EP-induced neuroprotection was accompanied by reduced levels of reactive gliosis and COX-2, IL-1β, and TNF-α in the hippocampus. In addition, in passive avoidance tests, KA-induced memory impairment was improved markedly by EP. These results suggest that EP has a therapeutic potential for suppressing KA-induced pathogenesis in the brain.
- Ethyl pyruvate
- Kainic acid