Histamine modulates heat stress-induced changes in blood-brain barrier permeability, cerebral blood flow, brain oedema and serotonin levels: an experimental study in conscious young rats

H S SharmaP K Dey


The possibility that endogenous histamine plays an important role in modulating the pathophysiology of heat stress was examined in young rats using a pharmacological approach. Subjection of young animals (six to seven weeks old) to heat stress at 38 degrees C for 4 h in a biological oxygen demand incubator (relative humidity 47-50%, wind velocity 20-25 cm/s) resulted in a profound increase in blood-brain barrier permeability to Evans Blue albumin (whole brain 375%) and [131I]sodium (whole brain 478%) along with a significant reduction in the cerebral blood flow (mean 34%). The water content of the whole brain was elevated by 4.5% (about 19% volume swelling) from the control. At this time-period, the plasma and whole brain 5-hydroxytryptamine levels were elevated by 656% and 328%, respectively, from the control group. Pretreatment with cimetidine (a histamine H2 receptor antagonist) significantly thwarted the increases in the brain water content and the blood-brain barrier permeability. In cimetidine-pretreated animals, the cerebral blood flow was significantly elevated and the plasma and brain 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) levels were slightly but significantly reduced as compared with the untreated stressed group. However, p...Continue Reading


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