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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Translational Stroke Research

Volume 3, Issue 4, December 2012, Pages 452-459.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1007/s12975-012-0195-4 Copyright © Springer


Cell loss immediately adjacent to an intracerebral hemorrhage may be mediated in part by the toxicities of extracellular hemoglobin (Hb) and thrombin. However, at low concentrations, these proteins induce tolerance to hemin and iron that may limit further peri-hematomal injury as erythrocyte lysis progresses. The mechanisms mediating these preconditioning effects have not been completely defined, but increased expression of both heme oxygenase (HO)-1 and iron binding proteins likely contributes. In the present study, we hypothesized that iron chelator therapy would attenuate this protective response. Pretreatment of cortical glial cultures (> 90 % GFAP+) with 3 μM methemoglobin (metHb) or 5 units/ml thrombin for 24 h was nontoxic per se, and increased HO-1 and ferritin expression. When challenged with a toxic concentration of hemin, the increase in cellular redox-active iron was attenuated in preconditioned cultures and cell survival was increased. However, if cultures were pretreated with metHb or thrombin plus deferoxamine or 2,2'-bipyridyl, ferritin induction was prevented and cellular redox-active iron increased with hemin treatment. Preconditioning-mediated cytoprotection was consistently reduced by deferoxamine, while 2,2'-bipyridyl had a variable effect. Neither chelator altered HO-1 expression. A cytoprotective response was preserved when chelator therapy was limited to 11 hours of the 24 h preconditioning interval. These results suggest a potentially deleterious effect of continuous iron chelator therapy after ICH. Intermittent therapy may remove peri-hematomal iron without negating the benefits of exposure to low concentrations of Hb or thrombin.

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