, Volume 23, Issue 1-3, pp 247-259

Nitric oxide synthase inhibitors in?uence dynorphin A (1–17) immunoreactivity in the rat brain following hyperthermia

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 The possibility that nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors influence dynorphin immunoreactivity following hyperthermia was examined in a rat model using a pharmacological approach. Previous reports from our laboratory show that hyperthermia induces an upregulation of NOS in several brain regions that seems to be instrumental in causing cell injury. Recent reports suggest that nitric oxide (NO) can influence dynorphin neurotransmission in the normal brain as well as in several pathological states. Since dynorphin is neurotoxic in different animal models of brain or spinal cord injury, it may be that the peptide will contribute to the cell injury in hyperthermia. The present investigation was carried out to determine whether hyperthermia can influence dynorphin immunoreactivity in the brain, and if so, whether inhibition of NOS will influence the peptide distribution in the brain following heat stress. Rats subjected to hyperthermia at 38°C for 4 h in a biological oxygen demand incubator (BOD) resulted in a marked upregulation of dynorphin immunoreactivity in several brain regions e.g., cerebral cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum and brain stem. Pretreatment of rats with two potent NOS inhibitors, L-NAME (30 mg/kg/day, i.p. for 7 days) or L-NMMA (35 mg/kg/day, i.p. for 7 days) significantly attenuated the dynorphin immunoreactivity in the brain. These drugs were also able to reduce hyperthermia induced blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, brain edema formation and cell injury. Taken together, our results suggest that (i) hyperthermia has the capacity to upregulate dynorphin immunoreactivity in the brain, (ii) inhibition of NOS considerably attenuates the dynorphin immunoreaction following heat stress and (iii) upregulation of dynorphin is somehow contributing to hyperthermia induced brain damage, not reported earlier.
Received July 3, 2001 Accepted August 6, 2001 Published online July 31, 2002