In an attempt to know the role of adenosine A1 receptor in cerebral ischemia, the present study employed the ligation of bilateral carotid arteries to induce ischemia in Wistar rats. Changes of gene expression of adenosine A1 receptor in cerebral cortex of ischemic rats were compared with normal sham control and reperfusion group that received regular blood flow after a transient ischemia. The mRNA level of adenosine A1 receptor in cerebral cortex was markedly raised by this artificial ischemia. Also, reperfusion reversed this elevation to a level near the control. This change was also observed at the protein level using Western blot analysis of adenosine A1 receptor. The raised protein level of adenosine A1 receptor by ischemia was reversed to normal level after reperfusion. These data suggest that the gene expression of adenosine A1 receptor was increased by ischemia probably due to the compensative response of brain. The raised adenosine A1 receptor may play a protective role in these damaged tissues.
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