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01.09.2009 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2009

International Journal of Legal Medicine 5/2009

Hyperthermia combined with ethanol administration induces c-fos expression in the central amygdaloid nucleus of the mouse brain. A possible mechanism of heatstroke under the influence of ethanol intake

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Legal Medicine > Ausgabe 5/2009
Autoren:
Kazuhiko Kibayashi, Ken-ichiro Nakao, Hideki Shojo

Abstract

Heatstroke is defined as a core body temperature that rises above 40.6°C and is accompanied by mental status abnormalities such as delirium, convulsions, or coma resulting from exposure to environmental heat. There is fairly wide agreement that ethanol intake is a predisposing factor in heatstroke. This study was performed to identify the brain changes induced by heatstroke, using a mouse hyperthermia model with and without preceding ethanol administration. Exposure to heat of 42°C until the core temperature reached to 43°C followed by exposure to 37°C for 15 min decreased the levels of partial pressures of O2 in blood. Preceding ethanol administration and heat exposure induced hypotension, severe metabolic acidosis and respiratory failure, and, accordingly, produced heatstroke. Immunohistochemistry of the brains showed that preceding ethanol administration increased the number of c-fos-immunoreactive neurons, as a marker of neuronal activation, in the central amygdaloid nucleus, which is involved in thermoregulation. These results indicate that combined effects of ethanol and heat exposure induce heatstroke that is associated with activation of the central amygdaloid nucleus, implicating the pathophysiology and mechanisms of heatstroke under the influence of ethanol intake.

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