The protective effects of α-melanocyte stimulating hormone on canine brain stem ischemia

Seung Kon Huh, James M. Lipton, H. Hunt Batjer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the influence of α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH), an anti-inflammatory antagonist of the production and action of proinflammatory cytokines, 26 dogs were divided into four groups and exposed to isolated, reversible brain stem ischemia in the presence or absence of α-MSH treatment. METHODS: Brain stem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) and regional cerebral blood flow were measured during ischemia and for 5 hours after reperfusion. Group I was composed of five dogs that underwent surgical preparation only. Group II was composed of seven dogs that were exposed to 20 minutes of ischemia without treatment. Group III was comprised of seven dogs exposed to 20 minutes of ischemia with α-MSH treatment before and during ischemia. Group IV was composed of seven dogs exposed to 20 minutes of brain stem ischemia with α-MSH treatment only during reperfusion. RESULTS: During the ischemic period, BAEPs were abolished in all animals within 10 minutes with reperfusion, the BAEPs increased to approximately 36% of baseline in Group II dogs that received no treatment. However, this increase was approximately 63% in animals that received α-MSH both before and during ischemia (Group III). In Group IV dogs that received α-MSH only during reperfusion, BAEPs were increased approximately 10 to 14% more than in Group II during the late reperfusion period. CONCLUSION: The improved recovery of BAEPs in dogs treated with α-MSH suggests that this peptide may have neuroprotective effects in brain stem ischemia and reperfusion injury. This effect may be caused by an antagonistic action of α-MSH on cytokine-induced ischemic brain damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-140
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997


  • Brain stem
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Cerebral protection
  • Dogs
  • α-Melanocyte stimulating hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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