A nitric oxide donor reduces brain injury and enhances recovery of cerebral blood flow after hypoxia-ischemia in the newborn rat

Mark S. Wainwright, Dava Grundhoefer, Shruti Sharma, Stephen M. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO) released in response to hypoxia-ischemia (HI) in the newborn brain may mediate both protective and pathologic responses. We sought to determine whether pharmacologic increase of NO using an NO donor would reduce neurologic injury resulting from HI in the postnatal day 7 rat. We measured NO levels and CBF in the presence of either a NOS inhibitor, N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) or an NO donor (Z)-1-[N-(2aminoethyl)-N-(2-ammonio-ethyl)amino]diazen-1-ium-1,2-diolate (DETANONOate). Both inhibition of NOS and administration of an NO donor reduced neuropathologic injury after 7-day recovery. NO levels decreased in both ischemic and contralateral hemispheres during HI. This response was prevented by treatment with DETANONOate. Despite the decrease in NO, CBF increased during ischemia in the contralateral hemisphere but decreased when combined with brief hypoxia. Treatment with L-NAME abolished these increases, which were not altered by DETANONOate. Reduction of cellular metabolism by mild hypothermia also reduced both NO and CBF. Following prolonged HI, CBF remained decreased in the ischemic hemisphere up to 24-h recovery. This decrease was prevented by treatment with DETANONOate. These data show that administration of an NO donor reduces neurologic injury following HI in the newborn rat. This mechanism of this protection, in part, is due to an increase in the rate of recovery of CBF compared to vehicle-treated animals. Augmentation of NO-dependent increases in CBF may serve to improve neurologic outcome after perinatal asphyxia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-129
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 26 2007



  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Hypothermia
  • Hypoxia-ischemia
  • Newborn
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this