The goal of this paper is to report on the study of the mechanism of neural damage in neonatal cerebral cortex and hippocampus when hypoxic-ischemic brain damage (HIBD) occurs and the neural protective effects of simvastatin. One hundred forty-four 7-day-old SD rats of were randomly divided into four groups, i.e., sham operation group (sham group), normal saline control group (HIBD group), citicoline control group (CDPC group), and simvastatin-treated group. Each group was divided into six time points (0 h, 12 h, 24 h, 48 h, 72 h, and 7 days after HIBD or sham operation), and each time point included six rats. The expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) mRNA was determined semiquantitively by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in the cortex and hippocampus of neonatal rats at different times to determine the differences. The expression of ICAM-1 mRNA rose obviously 12 h after HIBD in the ischemic hemisphere, peaked at 24 h, and then decreased gradually. There was a remarkably lower expression in the CDPC group and simvastatin group compared with the HIBD group at 12 h, 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h. At 7 days, there was no significant difference between the simvastatin group and the sham group (P > 0.05), and at 72 h, simvastatin down-regulated the expression of ICAM-1 mRNA in cortex significantly more than did citicoline (P < 0.05). Both simvastatin and CDPC can relieve the damages of the brain in rats with HIBD. The protective mechanisms of simvastatin and citicoline are associated with their regulative effect on ICAM-1, and simvastatin is superior to citicoline.
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