Nimodipine treatment does not benefit juvenile ferrets with kaolin-induced hydrocephalus
Di Curzio, Domenico L
Del Bigio, Marc R
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Abstract Prior research on 3-week hydrocephalic rats showed that behavioral deficits and white matter damage could be reduced by treatment with Ca2+ channel blocker nimodipine. We hypothesized that treatment with nimodipine would be also beneficial to young ferrets with kaolin-induced hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus was induced at 14 days of age and animals were treated either with vehicle, low dose nimodipine (3.2 mg/kg/day), or high dose nimodipine (16 mg/kg/day) for 2 weeks from 38 to 52 days age. Hydrocephalic ferrets developed progressive ventriculomegaly, behavioral changes, and in some cases cortical blindness. These changes were not ameliorated by nimodipine. Histological examination showed damage in periventricular white matter, corpus callosum thinning, axonal damage, reactive astroglial changes, and suppressed cell proliferation compared to non-hydrocephalic controls. Treatment with nimodipine was not beneficial for any of the pathological changes mentioned above; only low dose nimodipine treatment was associated with normalized content of glial fibrillary acidic protein, despite larger ventricles. We conclude that young hydrocephalic ferrets experience behavioral impairments and structural brain damage that are not consistently improved by intermittent nimodipine treatment. Continuous delivery should be considered in further preclinical studies.