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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2008 Sep 15;231(3):354-63. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2008.05.008. Epub 2008 May 20.

Cobalt chloride attenuates hypobaric hypoxia induced vascular leakage in rat brain: molecular mechanisms of action of cobalt chloride.

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  • 1Experimental Biology Division, Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Lucknow Road, Timarpur, Delhi-110054, India.


This study reports the efficacy of cobalt preconditioning in preventing hypobaric hypoxia induced vascular leakage (an indicator of cerebral edema) using male Sprague-Dawley rats as model system. Exposure of animals to hypobaric hypoxia led to a significant increase in vascular leakage, reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels. There was a marked increase in Nuclear Factor kappaB (NFkappaB) DNA binding activity and levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as Monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1), Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), Interleukin-1 (IL-1), and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and cell adhesion molecules such as Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and P-selectin. Chemical preconditioning by cobalt for 7 days (12.5 mg Co/kg b.w., oral) significantly attenuated cerebral vascular leakage and the expression of inflammatory mediators induced by hypoxia. Administration of NFkappaB inhibitor, curcumin (50 mg/kg b.w.; i.p.) appreciably inhibited hypoxia induced vascular leakage indicating the involvement of NFkappaB in causing vascular leakage. Interestingly, cobalt when administered at 12.5 mg Co/kg b.w. (i.p.), 1 h before hypoxia could not prevent the vascular leakage indicating that cobalt per se did not have an effect on NFkappaB. The lower levels of NFkappaB observed in the brains of cobalt administered animals might be due to higher levels of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory proteins (hemeoxygenase-1 and metallothionein). To conclude cobalt preconditioning inhibited hypobaric hypoxia induced cerebral vascular leakage by lowering NFkappaB DNA binding activity and its regulated pro-inflammatory mediators. This is contemplated to be mediated by cobalt induced reduction in ROS/NO and increase in HO-1 and MT.

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