Preconditioning hippocampal slices with hypothermia promotes rapid tolerance to hypoxic depolarization and swelling: Mediation by erythropoietin

Norman R. Kreisman, Lindsey B. Wooliscroft, Carolyn F. Campbell, Ary K. Dotiwala, Michael L. Cox, Aaron C. Denson, Aline M. Betancourt, Suzanne L. Tomchuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We suggested previously that hippocampal slices were protected from hypoxic depolarization and swelling by preincubating them at room temperature (Kreisman et al., 2000). We postulated that hypothermic preconditioning induced tolerance in our slices, which protected against hypoxic depolarization and swelling. Control hippocampal slices were incubated at 34–35 °C for two hours and the response to 10 min of severe hypoxia was compared to slices which were preconditioned for two hours at room temperature (22–23 °C) prior to warming to 34–35 °C. Recordings of the extracellular DC potential provided an index of tissue depolarization and changes in tissue light transmittance provided an index of swelling. Hypothermic preconditioning significantly reduced hypoxia-induced swelling, particularly in CA3 and the dentate inner blade. Since erythropoietin (EPO) had been shown to mediate hypoxic preconditioning, we tested whether EPO also mediated hypothermic preconditioning in our slices. Recombinant rat EPO (1–10 micromolar) mitigated hypoxia-induced swelling and depolarization in dentate inner blade of unconditioned slices in a dose-dependent manner. We also blocked the protective effects of hypothermic preconditioning on hypoxic depolarization and swelling in the inner blade of the dentate gyrus by administering soluble EPO receptor in the bath and treating slices with wortmannin to block phosphorylation of PI3 kinase, a critical step in the activation of the downstream neuroprotectant, Akt. These results suggest that EPO mediates tolerance to hypoxic depolarization and swelling induced by hypothermic preconditioning. They also emphasize that various preincubation protocols used in experiments with hippocampal slices may differentially affect basal electrophysiological and metabolic properties of those slices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number146517
JournalBrain research
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Erythropoietin
  • Hippocampus
  • Hypoxia
  • Neuroprotection
  • Preconditioning
  • Selective Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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