Staurosporine, a protein kinase C inhibitor, was found to produce a neuroprotective effect against an ischemic insult in both gerbils and rats in vivo. We have demonstrated that rat hippocampal slices exposed to oxygen/glucose-free medium showed decreases in 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) uptake and CA1 field potentials elicited by the stimulation of Schaffer collaterals. Therefore we examined the effect of protein kinase C inhibitors on oxygen/glucose free-induced impairments of 2-DG uptake and CA1 field potentials. Pretreatment with staurosporine, K252a and H-7 attenuated decreases in 2-DG uptake and CA1 field potentials. Treatment with phorbol ester, a protein kinase C activator, for a long period (90 min) was found to induce a down-regulation of protein kinase C activity. Therefore we examined the effect of pretreatment with phorbol ester for 90 min on oxygen/glucose free-induced decreases in 2-DG uptake and CA1 field potentials. These decrements were not attenuated by 5-min treatment with phorbol ester but were attenuated by 90-min treatment. The present results suggest that the treatment which decreases protein kinase C activity shows a neuroprotective action against oxygen/glucose free-induced deficits of metabolic and synaptic activity in hippocampal slices.
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