PMID: 542727Jan 1, 1979

Metabolic events in acutely damaged brain and the effect of dexamethasone in guinea pigs

J Hausdoerfer, W Heller


The effect on 210 guinea pigs of a special clinically used compound on substantial brain damage was evaluated. Cerebral metabolism was well preserved in small laboratory animals after blunt head injury by the administration of dexamethasone intraperitoneally. The high doses used were similar to those employed for cerebral contusion of the brain in patients. The concentrations of glucose, lactate, pyruvate and ATP were maintained better in cerebral tissue by pre- and post-traumatic use of dexamethasone than by treatment with a placebo. Analysis of the blood showed no such correlation indicating that the effect of dexamethasone was due to a local effect on the central nervous system, rather than a systemic effect. With rapid freezing, brain tissue from guinea pigs exposed to high doses of systemic dexamethasone was found to contain less lactate and pyruvate compared with untreated controls. ATP was preserved at the original non-traumatic level. This was not accompanied by an increased rate of glycolysis since the glucose level in the damaged brain was not affected by the glucocorticoid.

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