The effects of high dose allopurinol (ALLOP) pretreatment on the cerebral energy metabolism of unanesthetized 7-day-postnatal rats during exposure to 3 h of cerebral hypoxia-ischemia were serially quantitated using non-invasive 31P NMR spectroscopy. Adenosine triphosphate, integrated over the last 2 h of hypoxia and expressed as a fraction of baseline, was 0.73±0.16 with ALLOP pretreatment (200 mg/kg s.c.) compared to 0.52±0.05 for saline pretreatment (P=0.001). Inorganic phosphate/phosphocreatine (Pi/PCr), integrated over the same time interval, was 2.63±1.23 relative to baseline with ALLOP versus 5.13±1.45 for saline-treated pups (P<0.0005). We suggest that the neuroprotection achieved with high dose ALLOP pretreatment may be attributed in part to preservation of energy metabolites.
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