Cyclooxygenase-2 Mediates Hyperbaric Oxygen Preconditioning in the Rat Model of Transient Global Cerebral Ischemia
Background and Purpose—Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) preconditioning (PC) allows brain protection against transient global ischemia. In the present study, we hypothesize that the mechanism of HBO-PC involves the induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in cerebral tissues before ischemia, which leads to a suppression of COX-2 and its downstream targets after global ischemic insult.
Methods—One hundred twenty-nine male Sprague Dawley rats (body weight 280–300 grams) were allocated to the naive control group and the sham operation group, and 3 groups of animals were subjected to 15-minute 4-vessel occlusion: untreated, preconditioned with HBO 2.5 atmospheres absolutes for 1 hour daily for 5 days, preconditioned as mentioned and administered with COX-2 inhibitor NS-398 (1 mg/kg body weight intraperitoneal) before each preconditioning session, and normal rats preconditioned with HBO without ischemia. The mortality, the incidence of seizures, and T-maze scores were recorded. The quantitative cell count in Nissl stain and TUNEL was conducted on day 7 after ischemia. The brain expression of COX-2 was analyzed with Western blotting and immunofluorescence staining.
Results—HBO-PC increased the number of surviving neurons in the Cornu Ammonis area 1, which was associated with the reduced COX-2 expression in the hippocampus and in the cerebral cortex at 1 and 3 days after ischemia. HBO-PC improved functional performance and tended to decrease mortality and the frequency of seizures. These beneficial effects of HBO-PC were abolished by the COX-2 selective inhibitor NS-398.
Conclusions—HBO-PC reduced COX-2 expression and provided brain protection after global ischemia. Administration of COX-2 inhibitor with HBO before ischemia abolished preconditioning effect, thereby implicating COX-2 as a mediator of HBO-PC in the ischemic brain.
- Received September 30, 2010.
- Accepted October 18, 2010.
- © 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.