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Effect of pioglitazone on nerves of rats following traumatic brain injury

Deng Yongbing1,2,Tang Wenyuang1(1Department of Neurosurgery,First Affiliated Hospital,Chongqing Medical University,Chongqing,400016;2Department of Neurosurgery,Chongqing First Aid Medical Center,Chongqing,400014,China)  
Objective To study the neural protective effect of pioglitazone,a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma(PPARγ) agonist,on nerves of rats following traumatic brain injury(TBI).Methods Seventy-two male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into pioglitazone treatment group,sham operation group,and control group(n=24 rats in each group).Rats in pioglitazone treatment received pioglitazone gastric perfusion(10 mg/kg) while rats in sham operation group underwent normal saline gastric perfusion(10 mg/kg).A rat model of brain injury was established with the Feeney's free falling method.After neural function of rats was scored,water content in brain tissue was measured with the dry-wet weighing method.Injury of brain tissue,delayed death of neurons and apoptosis of nerve cells were observed with HE,TUNEL and Nissl's staining,respectively.Results The neural function score was higher in pioglitazone treatment group than in control group in 48 h and 5 d after TBI(P0.05).No significant difference was found in brain tissue water content between pioglitazone treatment and control groups in 48 h after TBI [(78.84±1.92)% vs(79.21±2.20)%,P0.05].The number of delayed dead and apoptotic nerve cells was significantly lesser in pioglitazone treatment group than in control group in 48 h after TBI(P0.05).Conclusion Pioglitazone can effectively inhibit the apoptosis of nerve cells,thus playing a role in protecting nerve cells of rats following TBI.
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