Hyperbaric oxygen preconditioning reduces the incidence of decompression sickness in rats via nitric oxide.

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Hyperbaric oxygen preconditioning reduces the incidence of decompression sickness in rats via nitric oxide.

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Title: Hyperbaric oxygen preconditioning reduces the incidence of decompression sickness in rats via nitric oxide.
Author: Fan, DF; Liu, K; Xu, WG; Zhang, RJ; Liu, Y; Kang, ZM; Sun, XJ; Li, RP; Tao, HY; Zhang, JL
Abstract: Divers are at risk of decompression sickness (DCS) when the ambient pressure decrease exceeds a critical threshold. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) preconditioning has been used to prevent various injuries, but the protective effect on DCS has not been well explored. To investigate the prophylactic effect of HBO2 on DCS, rats were pretreated with HBO2 (250 kPa-60 minutes) (all the pressures described here are absolute pressure) for 18 hours before a simulated air dive (700 kPa-100 minutes) with fast decompression to the surface at the rate of 200 kPa/min (n=33). During the following 30 minutes, the rats walked in a 3 m/minute rotating cage and were monitored for signs of DCS. The control rats were pretreated with normobaric air (n=30), normoxic hyperbaric nitrox (250 kPa, 8.4% O2) (n=13), or N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) 30 minutes before HBO2 exposure (n=13). Nitric oxide (NO) levels were recorded immediately and 18 hours after HBO2 exposure in the brain and spinal cord. The incidence of DCS in rats pretreated with HBO2 was 30.3%, which was significantly lower than those treated with normobaric air (63.3%) (p less than 0.05) or hyperbaric nitrox (61.5%) (p less then 0.05). The onset time of DCS of the rats pretreated with HBO2 was significantly delayed compared with those treated with air (p less than 0.05). L-NAME nullified the HBO2 preconditioning effect. HBO2 increased NO level in the rat brain and spinal cord right after exposure; this effect was inhibited by L-NAME. Taken together, HBO2 preconditioning reduced the incidence of DCS in rats, and NO was involved in the prophylactic effect.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/9525
Date: 2010

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