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Brain Dev. 2004 Apr;26(3):176-83.

Hypothermia during kainic acid-induced seizures reduces hippocampal lesions and cerebral nitric oxide production in immature rabbits.

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Department of Pediatrics, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.


We investigated (1) whether cerebral hypothermia during kainic acid (KA)-induced seizures was neuroprotective; and (2) whether nitric oxide (NO) production in the brain during seizures was altered by cerebral hypothermia in immature rabbits. Twelve female rabbits, aged 2 weeks, were anesthetized, paralyzed and mechanically ventilated. We continuously measured NO production in the brain by NO-selective electrode, cortical electroencephalogram (EEG), regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) by laser Doppler flowmetry, rectal and cerebral temperatures and mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) during KA (12 mg/kg, i.v.)-induced seizures in the hypothermic group (n = 6; rectal temperature, 33 degrees C), and in the normothermic group (n = 6; rectal temperature, 37 degrees C). The normothermic group showed a gradual increase in NO generation in the brain, which was significantly inhibited in the hypothermic group. There were no significant differences in the increases in rCBF, MABP, arterial blood gases, blood glucose, or EEG abnormalities between the two groups. Neuronal damages in the hippocampus (CA3) were significantly lower in hypothermia than in normothermia. These results suggest that hypothermia attenuates NO production during drug-induced seizures and decreases hippocampal brain lesions in the immature rabbit brain. These results may help to explain the neuroprotective effects of hypothermia.

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