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Brain Res. 2000 Dec 22;887(1):134-43.

Evaluation of combined fibroblast growth factor-2 and moderate hypothermia therapy in traumatically brain injured rats.

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Brain Trauma Research Center, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.


Both the exogenous administration of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) or the induction of moderate hypothermia have been shown to attenuate histopathology and improve functional outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Since combined therapeutic strategies may be more beneficial than single therapies, we examined the potential synergistic effect of FGF-2 combined with moderate hypothermia treatment induced 10 min after TBI on functional and histological outcome following controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury. Fifty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized to one sham and four CCI treatment groups: Sham+vehicle (VEH); FGF-2 (45 microg/kg/h for 3 h i.v.)+Normothermia (37+/-0.5 degrees C); FGF-2+Hypothermia (32+/-0.5 degrees C for 3 h); VEH+Norm; VEH+Hypo. Vestibulomotor performance on the beam balance and beam-walk (BW) tasks on post-operative days 1-5 and spatial memory acquisition in the Morris water maze (MWM) on days 14-18 were assessed. After 4 weeks survival, histological evaluations (CA(1) and CA(3) cell counts and lesion volume) were performed. MWM performance improved in all treatment groups, but combined treatment was not more efficacious than either alone. The FGF-2+Hypo group performed significantly better than the other injured treatment groups in the BW task. Lastly, no significant group differences in beam balance or histological outcome were observed. These data suggest a suboptimal and incomplete synergy of combined FGF-2 and hypothermia treatment. These data may indicate that either our dose of FGF-2 or combination therapy was not optimized in our model.

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