• CNS injury;
  • systematic review;
  • histone deacetylase;
  • mouse;
  • rat

J. Neurochem. (2010) 115, 806–813.


Drugs that inhibit histone deacetylase (HDAC) activities have enormous potential as neuroprotective agents. We performed a systematic review of controlled animal studies that administered known inhibitors of the zinc-dependent HDACs before and/or after acute cerebral injury and assessed anatomic/functional outcomes. Relevant studies were found by searching PubMed, Embase and Web of Science. From more than 100 identified publications, those data meeting specific criteria were analyzed using the Cochrane Review Manager software. A beneficial effect of administering HDAC inhibitors was seen in studies involving cerebral ischemia or non-ischemic models of acute cerebral injury. Specific studies assessed efficacy when drug was administered up to 14 days prior to, and 14 days following, the onset of cerebral injury. This systematic review provides objective evidence of a neuroprotective role for drugs that inhibit HDACs and highlights particular areas that require further experimental investigation.