Effects of combined postischemic hypothermia and delayed N-tert-butyl-a-pheylnitrone (PBN) administration on histopathological and behavioral deficits associated with transient global ischemia in rats

Alejandra J. Pazos, Edward J. Green, Raul Busto, Philip McCabe, R. C. Baena, Myron Ginsberg, Mordecai Y T Globus, Neil Schneiderman, W. Dalton Dietrich

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Previous cerebral ischemia studies have reported the limitations of restricted periods of postischemic hypothermia in producing long-term neuroprotection. The present experiment attempts to determine whether delayed treatment with the free radical scavenger N-tert-butyl-a-phenylnitrone (PBN) is protective at 2 months following transient global forebrain ischemia, and whether additive effects can be observed when PBN is administered in combination with moderate hypothermia. For this aim rats were subjected to 10 min of two-vessel forebrain ischemia followed by (a) 3 h of postischemic normothermia (37°C); (b) 3 h of postischemic hypothermia (30°C); (c) normothermic procedures combined with delayed injections of PBN (100 mg/kg) on days 3, 5 and 7 post-insult; (d) postischemic hypothermia combined with delayed PBN treatment; or (e) sham procedures. Outcome measures included cognitive behavioral testing and quantitative histopathological analysis at 2 months. Postischemic PBN injections induced a systemic hypothermia (1.5°C-2.0°C) that lasted for 2-2.5 h. Water maze testing revealed significant performance deficits relative to shams in the normothermic ischemic group, with the postischemic hypothermia and PBN groups showing intermediate values. A significant attenuation of cognitive deficits was observed in the animal group receiving the combination postischemic hypothermia and delayed PBN treatment. Quantitative CA1 hippocampal cell counts indicated that each of the ischemia groups exhibited significantly fewer viable CA1 neurons compared to sham controls. However, in rats receiving either delayed PBN treatment or 3 h of postischemic hypothermia, significant sparing of CA1 neurons relative to the normothermic ischemia group was observed. These data indicate that hypothermia combined with PBN treatment provides long-term cognitive improvement compared to nontreatment groups. PBN-induced mild hypothermia could contribute to the neuroprotective effects of this pharmacological strategy. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-195
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 6 1999



  • Behavior
  • Free radical scavenger
  • Ischemia
  • Water maze

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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