Regulated hypothermia produces a decrease in core temperature by lowering the brain's temperature set-point while maintaining thermoregulation at that lower set point. In contrast, forced hypothermia lowers core temperature by overwhelming the body's capacity to thermoregulate, but does not change the set-point. Regulated hypothermia has been shown to be cerebral protective in hibernating mammals. The effect of regulated hypothermia on the brain during reperfusion from hypoxic-ischemia has not been well studied. We induced regulated hypothermia with a neurotensin analogue (NT77) to determine whether it could reduce oxidative stress in the brain during reperfusion from asphyxial cardiac arrest (ACA) in rats. Mild hypothermia (32-34 degrees C) was induced by brief (4 h) external cooling (BC), NT77 or prolonged external cooling (24 h) (PC) 30 min after resuscitation from 8 min of ACA in rats. Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the brain were measured during reperfusion to quantitate oxidative stress.
Results: MDA levels in the hippocampus were elevated at 16 h of normothermic reperfusion versus 48 h with BC reperfusion. There was no increase in hippocampal MDA levels in the NT77 and PC groups at 24-72 h of reperfusion. Regulated hypothermia induced by NT77 reduced oxidative stress in the hippocampus during reperfusion from hypoxic-ischemia in comparison to forced brief external cooling of the same duration. In addition, the duration of external cooling after resuscitation also alters oxidative stress in the brain during reperfusion.