The histopathological alterations developing in the hippocampus, pirifonn cortex and thalamus of the rat brain, the blood-brain barrier damage, and the effects of dexamethasone pretreatment on the brain edema were investigated 4 h following intraperitoneal kainic acid administration. The most pronounced Evans Blue extravasation accompanied by increases in the water and sodium contents and a decrease in the potassium content, were observed in the thalamus. Dexamethasone, injected in a dose of 5 mg/kg 2 h before kainic acid administration, reduced considerably the vasogenic edema and neuronal damage in the thalamus, but the cytotoxic edema of the hippocampus and pirifonn cortex remained unaltered. Kainic acid-induced seizures lead to the development of vasogenic brain edema mainly in the thalamus, as well as to cytotoxic edema in the hippocampus and pirifonn cortex. The vasogenic edema seems to contribute to the cell damage in the thalamus. Dexamethasone reduces the vasogenic edema and cell damage in the thalamus, possibly by inducing the synthesis of certain protein(s) with antiphospholipase A2 activity.
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