Previous studies have shown that administration of nicotinamide (Vitamin B3) in animal models of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and ischemia significantly reduced the size of infarction or injury and improved functional recovery. The present study evaluated the ability of nicotinamide to provide acute neuroprotection and edema reduction following TBI. Groups of rats were assigned to nicotinamide (500 mg/kg) or saline (1.0 ml/kg) treatment conditions and received contusion injuries or sham surgeries. Drug treatment was administered 15 min following injury. Brains were harvested 24 h later and either processed for histology or water content. Frozen sections were stained with the degenerating neuron stain (Fluoro-Jade® B) (FJ) and cell counts were performed at the site of injury. Additional brains were processed for water content (a measure of injury-induced edema). Results of this study showed that administration of nicotinamide following TBI significantly reduced the number of FJ+ neurons in the injured cortex compared to saline-treated animals. Examination of the water content of the brains also revealed that administration of nicotinamide significantly attenuated the amount of water compared to saline-treated animals in the injured cortex. These results indicate that nicotinamide administration significantly reduced neuronal death and attenuated cerebral edema following injury. The current findings suggest that nicotinamide significantly modulates acute pathophysiological processes following injury and that this may account for its beneficial effects on recovery of function following injury.
- Vitamin B
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