Dexmedetomidine is neuroprotective in an in vitro model for traumatic brain injury
1 Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen, Pauwelsstraße 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany
2 Institute of Neuropathology, University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen, Pauwelsstraße 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany
3 Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital of the KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
BMC Neurology 2012, 12:20 doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-20Published: 11 April 2012
The α2-adrenoreceptor agonist dexmedetomidine is known to provide neuroprotection under ischemic conditions. In this study we investigated whether dexmedetomidine has a protective effect in an in vitro model for traumatic brain injury.
Organotypic hippocampal slice cultures were subjected to a focal mechanical trauma and then exposed to varying concentrations of dexmedetomidine. After 72 h cell injury was assessed using propidium iodide. In addition, the effects of delayed dexmedetomidine application, of hypothermia and canonical signalling pathway inhibitors were examined.
Dexmedetomidine showed a protective effect on traumatically injured hippocampal cells with a maximum effect at a dosage of 1 μM. This effect was partially reversed by the simultaneous administration of the ERK inhibitor PD98059.
In this TBI model dexmedetomidine had a significant neuroprotective effect. Our results indicate that activation of ERK might be involved in mediating this effect.