Introduction: This study will measure the impact of combination treatment of simvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, and niaspan, a prolonged-release formulation of vitamin B3, on functional outcome, cell proliferation and vascularity after experimental intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
Methods: Primary ICH was induced in 32 male Wistar rats by stereotactic injection of 100 ?L of autologous blood into the striatum. Rats were divided into four groups (n= 8/group): 1) simvastatin 2 mg/kg, 2) niaspan 40 mg/kg, 3) combination, and 4) phosphate buffered saline (PBS) daily starting 24-hours post-ICH and continuing daily for 7 days. To evaluate the neurological functional outcome, each animal was subjected to the modified neurological severity score (mNSS) and corner turn tests at different time points after ICH. At 14 days post treatment, each group was anesthetized, sacrificed, and the brain tissues were processed histologically. Immunohistochemistry was employed to measure vascularity (BrdU and vWF) and neurogenesis (BrdU and DCX).
Results: The animals treated with simvastatin alone, niaspan alone and combination-therapy showed significantly improved neurological functional outcomes as assessed by mNSS and corner turn tests at 14 days post-injection (p<0.05) as compared to PBS controls. The animals in each treatment group were seen to have significantly increased cell proliferation and vascularity, compared to the corresponding control group (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Our data suggest that treatment of experimental ICH with simvastatin and niaspan has a beneficial effect as demonstrated by the functional and histochemical measurements of neurogenesis and angiogenesis.
Patient Care: This study and others like it add to our body of knowledge regarding post ICH treatment and care. Eventually this will lead to more effective therapies and improved functional outcome for patients suffering from intracerebral hemorrhage.
Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to: 1) describe the therapeutic effect of simvastatin and/or niaspan in intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), 2) identify the cell proliferation after ICH in the adult rat, and 3) identify increased vascularity after ICH in the adult rat.