BACKGROUND: Oxidative and nitrosylative changes have been shown to occur in conjunction with the hypoxic changes and cellular/axonal damage in hydrocephalic rodent brains. We hypothesized that antioxidant therapy would improve behavioral, neurophysiological, and/or neurobiochemical outcomes in juvenile rats following induction of hydrocephalus. METHODS: Three-week old rats received an injection of kaolin (aluminum silicate) into the cisterna magna. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed two weeks later to assess ventricle size and stratify rats to four treatment conditions. Rats were treated for two weeks daily with sham therapy of either oral canola oil or dextrose or experimental therapy of a low or high dose of an antioxidant mixture containing α-tocopherol, L-ascorbic acid, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), reduced glutathione, and reduced lipoic acid. Behavior was examined thrice weekly. RESULTS: All hydrocephalic groups lagged in weight gain in comparison to non-hydrocephalic controls, all developed significant ventriculomegaly, and all exhibited white matter destruction. Canola oil with or without the antioxidant mixture normalized antioxidant capacity in brain tissue, and the dextrose-treated rats had the greatest ventricular enlargement during the treatment period. However, there were no significant differences between the four treatment groups of hydrocephalic rats for the various behavioral tasks. Glial fibrillary acidic protein and myelin basic protein quantitation showed no differences between the treatment groups or with control rats. There was increased lipid peroxidation in the hydrocephalic rats compared to controls but no differences between treatment groups. CONCLUSION: The antioxidant cocktail showed no therapeutic benefits for juvenile rats with kaolin-induced hydrocephalus although canola oil might have mild benefit.
Di Curzio, D. L., Turner-Brannen, E., & Del Bigio, M. R. (2014). Oral antioxidant therapy for juvenile rats with kaolin-induced hydrocephalus. Fluids and Barriers of the CNS, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/2045-8118-11-23