Contribution of hypothermia to effects of chloral hydrate on flash evoked potentials of hooded rats

B E Hetzler, R S Dyer
Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior 1984, 21 (4): 599-607
This study examined the contribution of hypothermia to the effects of chloral hydrate on the flash evoked potential (FEP) of hooded rats. Three experiments were performed, all employing intraperitoneal injections of saline, and of 75, 150 and 300 mg chloral hydrate/kg body weight. In the first experiment, body temperature was measured in a standard (23 degrees C) environment for 6 hr following injection. Rats were hypothermic following administration of the 150 and 300 mg/kg dosages for up to 1 and 2 hr, respectively. In the second experiment, FEPs were recorded from the visual cortex of chronically implanted rats 30 min after injection (22 degrees C environment). P1N1, N1P2 and P2N2 amplitudes and P1, N1, P2, N2 and P3 peak latencies were significantly increased by the 300 mg/kg dosage. Increased latencies were also noted for the primary components with the 150 mg/kg dosage. The final experiment replicated the second experiment, but at an ambient temperature of 30 degrees C, which prevented hypothermia. Amplitudes were unaffected by chloral hydrate. Significantly increased peak latencies were observed, even with the 75 mg/kg dose for some components. However, the magnitude of the latency increases of the primary components was less than half of that found with a standard environment. These results indicate that depending upon ambient temperature, hypothermia may contribute to chloral hydrate-induced alterations in FEPs.

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