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Brain Res. 1995 Dec 8;702(1-2):145-52.

Combined postischemic hypothermia and delayed MK-801 treatment attenuates neurobehavioral deficits associated with transient global ischemia in rats.

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Department of Psychology and Cerebrovascular Disease Research Center, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA.


The present study was designed to determine whether postischemic hypothermia, delayed MK-801 (dizocilpine) administration, or a combination of these treatments can provide lasting neurobehavioral protection following transient global ischemia in rats. Rats were subjected to 10 min of normothermic (37 degrees C) ischemia induced by 2-vessel occlusion and hypotension (50 mmHg) or sham procedures. Ischemia was followed by either: (a) 3 h at normothermic brain temperatures, (b) 3 h of postischemic brain hypothermia at 30 degrees C, (c) hypothermia coupled with MK-801 (4 mg/kg, i.p.) on postischemic days 3, 5 and 7, or (d) postischemic MK-801 treatment alone. Neurobehavioral evaluation 6-8 weeks following surgery showed that normothermic ischemia (NI) was associated with water maze navigational deficits, including performance on a simple place task involving finding a hidden platform maintained in one position for 6 days, and a learning set task in which the platform was moved to a different location each day (both P's < 0.02 vs. sham). NI was also associated with increased locomotion in an open field (P < 0.01 vs. sham). A combination of postischemic hypothermia and delayed MK-801 injections provided partial protection from ischemic-associated hyperactivity in the open field (P < 0.02 vs. NI), and robust protection from simple place task deficits (P < 0.02 vs. NI). Evidence for significant protective effects of MK-801 or hypothermia alone was observed in the learning set, during the final trial blocks each day. These results provide further evidence for neuroprotective effects of these treatments at chronic survival intervals, and indicate that the therapeutic window for attenuating ischemic damage is considerably longer than has heretofore been appreciated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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