Performance and safety are impaired in employees engaged in shift work. Combat divers who use closed-circuit oxygen diving apparatus undergo part of their training during the night hours. The greatest risk involved in diving with such apparatus is the development of central nervous system oxygen toxicity (CNS-OT). We investigated whether the switch from day-to-night activity may be a risk factor for the development of CNS-OT using a diurnal animal model, the fat sand rat (Psammomys obesus). Animals were kept on a 12:12 light–dark schedule (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 500 lx). The study included two groups: (1) Control group: animals were kept awake and active during the day, between 09:00 and 15:00. (2) Experimental group: animals were kept awake and active during the night, between 21:00 and 03:00, when they were exposed to dim light in order to simulate the conditions prevalent during combat diver training. This continued for a period of 3 weeks, 5 days a week. On completion of this phase, 6-sulphatoxymelatonin (6-SMT) levels in urine were determined over a period of 24 h. Animals were then exposed to hyperbaric oxygen (HBO). To investigate the effect of acute melatonin administration, melatonin (50 mg/kg) or its vehicle was administered to the animals in both groups 20 min prior to HBO exposure. After the exposure, the activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase was measured, as were the levels of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and overall nitrotyrosylation in the cortex and hippocampus. Latency to CNS-OT was significantly reduced after the transition from day-to-night activity. This was associated with alterations in the level of melatonin metabolites secreted in the urine. Acute melatonin administration had no effect on latency to CNS-OT in either of the groups. Nevertheless, the activity of superoxide dismutase and catalase, as well as nitrotyrosine and nNOS levels, were altered in the hippocampus following melatonin administration. On the basis of these results, we suggest that a switch from diurnal to nocturnal activity may represent an additional risk factor for the development of CNS-OT. Utilizing a diurnal animal model may contribute to our understanding of the heightened risk of developing CNS-OT when diving with closed-circuit oxygen apparatus at night.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - 28 May 2017|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- CNS-oxygen toxicity
- diurnal model
- night shift
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)