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Brain Inj. 2012;26(10):1273-84. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2012.667593. Epub 2012 May 9.

Hyperbaric oxygenation improves locomotor ability by enhancing neuroplastic responses after cortical ablation in rats.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Physiology 'Richard Burian', School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia.



To investigate whether hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) can improve the recovery of motor functions in rats after suction ablation of the right sensorimotor cortex.


The experimental paradigm implies the following groups: Control animals (C), Control + HBO (CHBO), Sham controls (S), Sham control + HBO (SHBO), Lesion group (L), right sensorimotor cortex was removed by suction, Lesion + HBO (LHBO). Hyperbaric protocol: pressure applied 2.5 atmospheres absolute, for 60 minutes, once a day for 10 days. A beam walking test and grip strength meter were used to evaluate the recovery of motor functions. Expression profiles of growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43) and synaptophysin (SYP) were detected using immunohistochemistry.


The LHBO group achieved statistically superior scores in the beam walking test compared to the L group. Additionally, the recovery of muscle strength of the affected hindpaw was significantly enhanced after HBO treatment. Hyperbaric oxygenation induced over-expression of GAP43 and SYP in the neurons surrounding the lesion site.


Data presented suggest that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can intensify neuroplastic responses by promoting axonal sprouting and synapse remodelling, which contributes to the recovery of locomotor performances in rats. This provides the perspective for implementation of HBO in clinical strategies for treating traumatic brain injuries.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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