The aim of the present work was to evaluate in an early time point the effect of the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 after hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury induced by partial occlusion of the umbilical cord of premature fetal lambs. Lambs were assigned to three experimental groups: one SHAM group: non-injured animals, and two hypoxic-ischemic groups that received a dose of 0.01μg/kg WIN 55,212-2 (HI+WIN group) or not (HI+VEH) after 60min of a hypoxic-ischemic event. All animals were managed on mechanical ventilation for 3h and then sacrificed. Brains were perfusion-fixed and different regions separated for regional cerebral blood flow measurement, apoptosis quantification by TUNEL method and S-100 protein analysis by flow cytometry. The number of apoptotic cells was lower in the HI+WIN group in all regions studied. Moreover, animals treated with the cannabinoid agonist showed higher values in the percentage of S-100 positive cells in all regions, except in the cortex. In both studies we obtained similar values between SHAM group and HI+WIN group. Our results suggest that the administration of the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 after hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in preterm lambs decreases brain injury reducing the delayed cell death and glial damage.
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