We studied the effect of pre-injury magnesium (Mg2+) treatment on hippocampal extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation induced by lateral fluid-percussion (FP) brain injury, and on working and reference memory in the radial-arm maze test in rats subjected to such traumatic brain injury (TBI) (n = 56) or to sham injury (n = 12). In the ipsilateral hippocampus, an increase in the phospho-ERK level was detected at 10 min after injury in rats subjected to FP brain injury of moderate severity (1.9-2.0 atm) as compared to sham-injured controls (p < 0.01), and was maintained for at least 120 min after injury (p < 0.05). In the contralateral hippocampus, the phospho-ERK level was transiently increased at 10 min after injury but fell to nearly its basal level by 30 min. When MgCl2 solution (150 μmol) was infused intravenously from 20 min to 5 min before injury (n = 4-5), brain injury-induced ERK activation was significantly inhibited in the ipsilateral hippocampus at 60 min but not at 10 min after injury. Mg2+ treatment also significantly prevented injury-induced neuronal loss in the ipsilateral hippocampus (p < 0.05 vs. vehicle-treated, brain-injured controls). At 2 weeks after injury, Mg2+ treatment was found to have significantly prevented injury-induced impairments in working (p < 0.0001 vs. vehicle-treated, brain-injured controls) and reference memory (p < 0.05) in the radial-arm maze test. The present study demonstrates that pretreatment with Mg2+ prevents post-traumatic hippocampal ERK activation and neuronal loss, and cognitive dysfunction in the radial-arm maze test.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology