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Methylene blue and normobaric hyperoxia combination therapy in experimental ischemic stroke

05 May 2016


Ischemic stroke is a global burden that contributes to the disability and mortality of millions of patients. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of combined MB (methylene blue) and NBO (normobaric hyperoxia) therapy in experimental ischemic stroke.


Rats with transient (60 min) MCAO (middle cerebral artery occlusion) were treated with: (1) air + vehicle (N = 8), (2) air + MB (N = 8), (3) NBO + vehicle (N = 7), and (4) NBO + MB (N = 9). MB (1 mg/kg) was administered at 30 min, again on days 2, 7, and 14 after stroke. NBO was given during MRI (30–150 min) on day 0, and again 1 h each during MRI on subsequent days. Serial diffusion, perfusion and T2 MRI were performed to evaluate lesion volumes. Foot-fault and cylinder tests were performed to evaluate sensorimotor function.


The major findings were: (1) NBO + MB therapy showed a greater decrease in infarct volume compared to NBO alone, but similar infarct volume compared to MB alone, (2) NBO + MB therapy accelerated sensorimotor functional recovery compared to NBO or MB alone, (3) Infarct volumes on day 2 did not change significantly from those on day 28 for all four groups, but behavioral function continued to show improved recovery in the NBO + MB group.


These findings support the hypothesis that combined NBO + MB further improves functional outcome and reduces infarct volume compared to either treatment alone and these improvements extended up to 28 days.

This study evaluated the efficacy of combined MB (methylene blue) and NBO (normobaric hyperoxia) in experimental ischemic stroke in rats. Multimodal MRI was applied in conjunction with behavioral assessments to measure the change in lesion volume and functional recovery. The combination NBO + MB therapy accelerated functional recovery days, and was superior to NBO alone, over a 28 day window.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Brain and Behavior