Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) are produced by cytochrome P450 epoxygenases from arachidonic acid, and their rapid metabolism is mainly through soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH). EETs exert vasodilatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and pro-angiogenic effects. Administration of sEH inhibitors before or at the onset of stroke is protective, but the effects of post-treatment at reperfusion, when inflammation is augmented, has not been as well studied. We tested the hypothesis that 1-Trifluoromethoxyphenyl-3-(1-propionylpiperidin-4-yl)urea (TPPU), a potent and highly selective sEH inhibitor, suppresses inflammation and protects the brain when administered at reperfusion. Vehicle or 1 mg/kg TPPU was administered at reperfusion after 90 minutes of focal ischemia and again 24 hours later. Protein expression and activity of sEH increased after reperfusion and activity was decreased by TPPU administration. TPPU decreased infarct volume by 50%, reduced neurologic deficits and improved performance on sensorimotor tasks. Furthermore, TPPU significantly lowered the mRNA expression of interleukin-1beta by 3.5-fold and tumor necrosis factor-alpha by 2.2-fold, increased transforming growth factor-beta mRNA by 1.8-fold, and augmented immunostaining of vascular endothelial growth factor in peri-infarct cortex. Thus, inhibition of sEH at reperfusion significantly reduces infarction and improves sensorimotor function, possibly by suppressing early proinflammatory cytokines and promoting reparative cytokines and growth factors.
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