• brain water content;
  • ICP;
  • neuroprotection;
  • rat


Early deterioration and death after brain injury is often the result of oedema in the injured and peri-lesional tissue. So far, no pharmacotherapy is available that exhibits significant brain oedema-reducing efficacy in patients. We selected two low molecular weight compounds from different chemical classes, a triazole (1-[(2-chlorophenyl)diphenylmethyl]-1,2,3-triazole) and a cyclohexadiene (methyl 4-[4-chloro-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-6-methyl-3-oxo-1,4,7-tetrahydroisobenzofuran-5-carboxylate) to characterize their pharmacological properties on KCNN4 channels (intermediate/small conductance calcium-activated potassium channel, subfamily N, member 4) in vitro as well as in vivo. In vitro we replaced potassium by rubidium (Rb+) and determined Rb+ fluxes evoked by 10 µm of the calcium ionophore A23187 on C6BU1 rat glioma cells. Compared with known KCNN4 blockers, such as clotrimazole (IC50 = 360 ± 12 nm) and charybdotoxin (IC50 = 3.3 ± 1.9 nm), the triazole and cyclohexadiene were considerably more potent than clotrimazole and displayed similar potencies (IC50 = 12.1 ± 8.8 and 13.3 ± 4.7 nm, respectively). In the rat acute subdural haematoma model, both the triazole and cyclohexadiene displayed reduction of brain water content (−26% at 0.3 mg/kg and −24% at 0.01 mg/kg) and reduction of the intracranial pressure (−46% at 0.1 mg/kg and −60% at 0.003 mg/kg) after 24 h when administered as a 4-h infusion immediately after brain injury. When infarct volumes were determined after 7 days, the triazole as well as the cyclohexadiene displayed strong neuroprotective efficacy (−52% infarct volume reduction at 1.2 mg/kg and −43% at 0.04 mg/kg, respectively). It is concluded that blockade of KCNN4 channels is a new pharmacological approach to attenuate acute brain damage caused by traumatic brain injury.