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Brain Res. 1992 May 15;580(1-2):197-204.

Protective effects of brain hypothermia on behavior and histopathology following global cerebral ischemia in rats.

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Department of Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124.


The present experiments were designed to assess whether brain hypothermia can reduce the behavioral and histopathological deficits associated with global forebrain ischemia. Animals were subjected to 12.5 min of four vessel occlusion (4VO) with moderate hypotension, and brain temperature maintained at either 37 degrees C (4VO-37) or 30 degrees C (4VO-30). Behavioral tests designed to assess forelimb reflexes and sensorimotor function were given on post-operative weeks 2 and 4. Beginning in week 5, the rats were trained on a variety of navigation problems in the Morris water maze. Histopathological examination of the tissue 2 months following reperfusion revealed that 4VO-37 animals sustained substantial cell death in hippocampal region CA1 and moderate damage to the dorsolateral neostriatum. 4VO-30 animals showed minimal cell death in CA1 and neostriatum. There were no group differences for any of the sensorimotor measures, or for acquisition performance on either the simple place task or visible platform version of the water maze. In contrast, during acquisition of the learning set task, the performance of 4VO-37 animals was impaired relative to either of the other groups, whereas the performance of 4VO-30 animals was not significantly different from the sham controls. These data suggest that moderate intra-ischemic brain hypothermia provides long-lasting protection from behavioral deficits as well as neuronal injury following transient global ischemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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