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Heat shock preconditioning induces delayed neuroprotection: in vivo and in vitro effects on kainate-induced cell damage. Volume 17, issue 4, Octobre-Novembre-Décembre 2005

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Laboratoire d’Épileptologie expérimentale et clinique, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, 146, rue Léo Saignat-case 78, 33046 Bordeaux Cedex, France

A variety of cerebral preconditioning stresses are able to trigger cellular and molecular events which can protect neurones against a subsequent more severe insult. This phenomenon, called “cerebral tolerance”, clearly evidences the existence of endogenous neuroprotective mechanisms. The aim of the present study was to find a non-invasive and physiological preconditioning stimulus able to induce such a phenomenon. Here we show that, both in vitro and in vivo, a moderate hyperthermic preconditioning significantly decreases subsequent kainic acid-induced neuronal cell loss. Neuroprotection occurs in a time window of about one week and peaks 3 days after pre-treatment. Unravelling the mechanisms of heat shock preconditioning–induced cerebral tolerance should lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies.