Journal of Neurology

, Volume 249, Issue 11, pp 1503–1511

Cerebral ischemic preconditioning

An experimental phenomenon or a clinical important entity of stroke prevention?
  • B. Schaller
  • R. Graf

DOI: 10.1007/s00415-002-0933-8

Cite this article as:
Schaller, B. & Graf, R. J Neurol (2002) 249: 1503. doi:10.1007/s00415-002-0933-8


Neurons can be preconditioned by various procedures to resist ischemic events. The preconditioning mechanism induced is characterized by a brief episode of ischemia that renders the brain more resistant against subsequent longer ischemic events. This ischemic tolerance has been shown in numerous experimental models of cerebral ischemia. The basic molecular mechanisms of ischemic tolerance are largely unknown. During the induction phase N-methyl-O-aspartate and adenosine receptors and, possibly, oxygen free radicals and conservation of energy metabolism are required. Protein kinases, transcription factors, and immediate early genes appear to transduce the signal into a tolerant response. Although the mechanism of ischemic tolerance remains uncertain, its discovery provides the focus for further understanding of the mechanism of endogenous neuroprotection and the potential of novel therapeutic strategies for neuroprotection. Such neuroprotective strategies may extend beyond ischemic tolerance to include other brain injury states as well.

Key words cerebral ischemia ischemic tolerance preconditioning apoptosis neuronal death 

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Schaller
    • 1
  • R. Graf
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institute for Neurological Research, Gleueler Strasse 50, 50931 Cologne, Germany. Bernhard.Schaller@pet.mpin-koeln.mpg.deDE