The severity of traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be reduced if oxygen can be rapidly provided to the injured brain. This study evaluated if the oxygen-carrier M101 causes vasoconstricton of pial vasculature in healthy rats (Experiment 1) and if M101 improves brain tissue oxygen (PbtO2) in rats with controlled cortical impact (CCI)-TBI (Experiment 2). M101 (12.5 mL/kg intravenous [IV] over 2 h) caused a mild (9 mm Hg) increase in the mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) of healthy rats without constriction of cerebral pial arterioles. M101 (12 mL/kg IV over 1 h) caused a modest (27 mm Hg) increase in MAP (peak, 123 ± 5 mm Hg [mean ± standard error of the mean]) of CCI-TBI rats and restored PbtO2 to near pre-injury levels. In both M101 and untreated control (NON) groups, PbtO2 was ∼30 ± 2 mm Hg pre-injury and decreased (p ≤ 0.05) to ∼16 ± 2 mm Hg 15 min after CCI. In NON, PbtO2 remained ∼50% of baseline but M101 administration resulted in a sustained increase in PbtO2 (peak, 25 ± 5 mm Hg), which was not significantly different from pre-injury until the end of the study, when it decreased again below pre-injury (but was still higher than NON). Histopathology showed no differences between groups. In conclusion, M101 increased systemic blood pressures without concurrent cerebral pial vasoconstriction (in healthy rats) and restored PbtO2 to 86% of pre-injury for at least 80 min when given soon after CCI-TBI. M101 should be evaluated in a clinically-relevant large animal model for pre-hospital treatment of TBI.
Keywords: brain; hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier; oxygen therapeutic; trauma; vascular reactivity.