A tremendous effort has been expended to elucidate the role of apoptotic molecules in ischemia. However, many agents that target apoptosis, despite their proven efficacy in animal models, have failed to translate that efficacy and specificity in clinical settings. Therefore, comprehensive knowledge of apoptotic mechanisms involving key apoptotic regulatory molecules and the temporal expression profiles of various apoptotic molecules after cerebral ischemia may provide insight for the development of better therapeutic strategies aimed at cerebral ischemia. The present study investigates the extent of apoptosis and the regulation of apoptotic molecules both at mRNA and protein levels at various time points after focal cerebral ischemia in a rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion. In this study, we performed various techniques, such as TTC (2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride), H&E (hematoxylin and eosin), and TUNEL (terminal deoxy nucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labeling) staining, along with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) microarray, antibody microarray, reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, immunofluorescence, and immunoblot analyses. Our research provided a large list of pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic molecules and their temporal expression profiles both at the mRNA and protein levels. This information could be very useful for designing future stroke therapies and aid in targeting the right molecules at critical time to obtain maximum therapeutic benefit.
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