Do hyperbaric oxygen-induced seizures cause brain damage?

Liran Domachevsky, Chaim G. Pick, Yehuda Arieli, Nitzan Krinsky, Amir Abramovich, Mirit Eynan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is commonly accepted that hyperbaric oxygen-induced seizures, the most severe manifestation of central nervous system oxygen toxicity, are harmless. However, this hypothesis has not been investigated in depth. We used apoptotic markers to determine whether cells in the cortex and hippocampus were damaged by hyperbaric oxygen-induced seizures in mice. Experimental animals were exposed to a pressure of 6 atmospheres absolute breathing oxygen, and were randomly assigned to two groups sacrificed 1. h after the appearance of seizures or 7 days later. Control groups were not exposed to hyperbaric oxygen. Caspase 9, caspase 3, and cytochrome c were used as apoptotic markers. These were measured in the cortex and the hippocampus, and compared between the groups. Levels of caspase 3, cytochrome c, and caspase 9 in the hippocampus were significantly higher in the hyperbaric oxygenexposed groups compared with the control groups 1 week after seizures (p< 0.01).The levels of two fragments of caspase 9 in the cortex were higher in the control group compared with the hyperbaric oxygen-exposed group 1. h after seizures (p< 0.01). Hyperbaric oxygen-induced seizures activate apoptosis in the mouse hippocampus. The reason for the changes in the cortex is not understood. Further investigation is necessary to elucidate the mechanism underlying these findings and their significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-41
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by research grant no. 4440162662 from the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps . The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private ones of the authors, and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Israel Naval Medical Institute.


  • Apoptosis
  • Central nervous system
  • Convulsions
  • High pressure
  • Oxygen
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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