The effect of preconditioning (PC) on the changes of nerve growth factor-induced gene A (NGFI-A) expression induced by severe hypobaric hypoxia was studied by in situ hybridization. A PC consisted of three trials of mild hypobaric hypoxia (360 Torr, 2 h) spaced at 24 h. The last trial was followed by severe hypoxia (SH; 180 Torr, 3 h) 24 h later. The PC hypoxia prevented the NGFI-A messenger RNA (mRNA) increase in the cortex, neostriatum, piriform cortex, amygdala and hippocampus detected 3 h after SH. The preconditioned SH caused a peak in NGFI-A mRNA expression at the 24 h time-point and thus abolished the dramatic decrease of the mRNA in vulnerable areas seen by 24 and 72 h after SH. The findings suggest a role of brain NGFI-A in the protective effect of hypoxic/ischemic PC. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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