Pharmacological preconditioning ameliorates neurological injury in a model of spinal cord ischemia

David J. Caparrelli, Stephen M. Cattaneo, Brian T. Bethea, Jay G. Shake, Charles Eberhart, Mary E. Blue, Eduardo Marbán, Michael V. Johnston, William A. Baumgartner, Vincent L. Gott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Background. Pharmacological openers of mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium (mitoKATP) channels have been shown to mimic ischemic preconditioning (IPC) in both the brain and myocardium. We hypothesized that similar endogenous mechanisms exist in the spinal cord and that diazoxide, a potent mitoKATP opener, could reduce neurologic injury after aortic crossclamping in a model of spinal cord ischemia. Methods. The infra-renal aorta was cross-clamped in 45 male New Zealand white rabbits for 20 minutes. Control animals received no pretreatment. Diazoxide-treated animals were dosed (5 mg/kg) 15 minutes before cross-clamp. A third group underwent 5 minutes of IPC 30 minutes before cross-clamp. Two groups received KATP antagonists, 5-hydroxydecanoic acid (5-HD, 20 mg/kg) or glibenclamide (1.0 mg/kg), before diazoxide administration. Systemic hypotension was induced in a final group with excess isoflurane. Tarlov Scoring was used to assess neurologic function at 24 and 48 hours, after which, the spinal cords were procured for histopathological analysis. Results. Tarlov scoring demonstrated marked improvement in the Diazoxide group compared with control at 24 hours (p < 0.02) and 48 hours (p < 0.009). Moreover, no further neurologic injury occurred in this group at 7 days. IPC-treated animals showed neurologic improvement but were not significantly different from controls. Further, administration of glibenclamide was effective in antagonizing diazoxide's protective effect. Conclusions. Administration of diazoxide resulted in significant improvement in neurologic outcome in this model. This protective effect improved outcome at both early and late time points. Further, the antagonistic effect of glibenclamide implicates diazoxide's ATP-dependent potassium channel agonism as the mechanism of protection. Overall, this study suggests that diazoxide may be useful in the prevention of neurologic injury after thoracic aneurysm surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)838-845
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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