The neuroprotective effect of oxygen after acute stroke in rats has been shown previously. However, the question of optimal dosing still remains unanswered. Thus, we investigated the use of oxygen at different concentrations by either normobaric oxygenation (NBO) or hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) at different pressures in a model of transient ischemia/reperfusion in rats. Animals underwent 90 min of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) followed by 90 min of reperfusion before oxygen treatment. Oxygen was applied either by NBO (100% O(2); 1.0 absolute atmosphere, ATA) or HBO (100% O(2); 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 or 3.0 ATA) for 1 h. Primary endpoints were infarct volume and clinical outcome measured 24 h and 7 days following the MCAO. A statistically significant and long-lasting reduction in infarct volume was seen in the HBO 2.5 ATA and 3.0 ATA groups over a period of 7 days. The reduced infarct volume was accompanied with a statistically significant improvement in clinical outcome in the high-dose oxygen-treated groups. The presented data indicate that oxygen is a highly neuroprotective molecule in transient focal cerebral ischemia in rats, when applied early and at high doses. The effect is dose dependent and shows a superiority of HBO over NBO, when the primary endpoints infarct volume reduction and clinical outcome are analyzed. These data are important for the development of new acute stroke treatment studies in humans.

Eschenfelder, Krug, Yusofi, Meyne, Herdegen, Koch, Zhao, Carl, (2008). Neuroprotection by oxygen in acute transient focal cerebral ischemia is dose dependent and shows superiority of hyperbaric oxygenation. Cerebrovascular diseases (Basel, Switzerland), 2008 ;25(3):193-201. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18212507