Gender-specific neuroprotection by 2-iminobiotin after hypoxia-ischemia in the neonatal rat via a nitric oxide independent pathway

Cora H.A. Nijboer, Floris Groenendaal, Annemieke Kavelaars, Henrik H. Hagberg, Frank Van Bel, Cobi J. Heijnen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Scopus citations


We have shown earlier that 2-iminobiotin (2-IB) reduces hypoxia-ischemia (HI)-induced brain damage in neonatal rats, and presumed that inhibition of nitric oxide synthases (NOS) was the underlying mechanism. We now investigated the effect of 2-IB treatment in P7 rat pups to determine the role of gender and the neuroprotective mechanism. Pups were subjected to HI (occlusion of right carotid artery and 120 mins FiO2 0.08) and received subcutaneous (s.c.) 10 mg/kg 2-IB at 0, 12 and 24 h after hypoxia. After 6 weeks, neuronal damage was assessed histologically. We determined cerebral nitrite and nitrate (NOx) and nitrotyrosine, heat-shock protein 70, cytosolic cytochrome c, cleaved caspase 3, nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and the effect of 2-IB on NOS activity in cultured cells. 2-Iminobiotin treatment reduced long-term brain damage in female but not male rats. Unexpectedly, 2-IB treatment did not reduce cerebral NOx or nitrotyrosine levels, and did not inhibit NOS activity in vitro. The gender-dependent neuroprotective effect of 2-IB was reflected in inhibition of the HI-induced increase in cytosolic cytochrome c and cleaved caspase 3 in females only. Hypoxia-ischemia-induced activation of AIF was observed in males only and was not affected by 2-IB. Post-HI treatment with 2-IB provides gender-specific long- and short-term neuroprotection in female P7 rats via inhibition of the cytochrome c-caspase 3 neuronal death pathway. 2-Iminobiotin did not alter cerebral NOx nor inhibited NOS in intact cells. Therefore, we conclude that it is highly unlikely that the neuroprotective effect of 2-IB involves NOS inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-292
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007


  • Apoptosis
  • Gender
  • Hypoxia
  • Ischemia
  • Neuroprotection
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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