Molecular Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 7–8, pp 380–387 | Cite as

The Role of Zinc in Cerebral Ischemia

  • Sherri L. Galasso
  • Richard H. Dyck


Ischemic stroke is one of the most pervasive life-threatening neurological conditions for which there currently exists limited therapeutic intervention beyond prevention. As calcium-focused neuroprotective strategies have met with limited clinical success, it is imperative that alternative therapeutic targets be considered in the attempt to antagonize ischemic-mediated injury. As such, zinc, which is able to function both as a signaling mediator and neurotoxin, has been implicated in cerebral ischemia. While zinc was first purported to have a role in cerebral ischemia nearly twenty years ago, our understanding of how zinc mediates ischemic injury is still in its relative infancy. Within this review, we examine some of the studies by which zinc has exerted either neuroprotective or neurotoxic effects during global and focal cerebral ischemia.



This work was supported by operating grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC; RHD) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (RHD), and graduate scholarship from NSERC (SLG).


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Copyright information

© Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CalgaryN.W. CalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of Cell Biology and AnatomyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Hotchkiss Brain InstituteUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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