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Effects of progesterone on neurologic and morphologic outcome following diffuse traumatic brain injury in rats

, : Effects of progesterone on neurologic and morphologic outcome following diffuse traumatic brain injury in rats. Experimental Neurology 205(1): 145-153

Previous studies have identified that progesterone may be neuroprotective following traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, most of these have utilized models of TBI that produce a focal lesion or a significant ischemic component, neither of which is necessarily present in diffuse TBI. The current study uses a model of diffuse TBI in rats to examine the effects of progesterone on morphological changes and functional outcome following TBI. Male and ovariectomized female rats were subject to severe impact-acceleration injury under halothane anesthesia. After injury, animals were given a physiological, subcutaneous dose of progesterone (1.67 mg/kg) or equal volume of vehicle (sesame oil) daily throughout a 9-day neurologic assessment period where functional outcome was assessed using the rotarod and Barnes maze tests. There was a similar postinjury performance of male and ovariectomized female animals. Post-injury administration of progesterone improved the motor and cognitive performance of ovariectomized and male animals compared to vehicle-treated controls. Morphological differences between these animals, such as dark cell change, caspase-3 and APP immunoreactivity, were also investigated. Progesterone-treated males showed comparatively less dead or dying neurons, and marked attenuation of caspase-3 immunoreactivity. Both ovariectomized female and male animals treated with progesterone showed a profound reduction in axonal injury (seen via diminished APP immunoreactivity) when compared to controls. We conclude that physiological concentrations of progesterone administered after diffuse TBI confers beneficial effects on morphologic and functional outcome in both ovariectomized female and male animals.


PMID: 17362936

DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2007.01.034

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