The Antiedematous Effect of Exogenous Lactate Therapy in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Physiological and Mechanistic Approach

By David Emmanuel Duhaut, Catherine Heurteaux, Carine Gandin, Carole Ichai & Hervé Quintard
First online: 20 April 2021

Sodium lactate (SL) has been described as an efficient therapy in treating raised intracranial pressure (ICP). However, the precise mechanism by which SL reduces intracranial hypertension is not well defined. An antiedematous effect has been proposed but never demonstrated. In this context, the involvement of chloride channels, aquaporins, or K–Cl cotransporters has also been suggested, but these mechanisms have never been assessed when using SL.

In a rat model of traumatic brain injury (TBI), we compared the effect of SL versus mannitol 20% on ICP, cerebral tissue oxygen pressure, and brain water content. We attempted to clarify the involvement of chloride channels in the antiedematous effects associated with lactate therapy in TBI.

An equimolar single bolus of SL and mannitol significantly reduced brain water content and ICP and improved cerebral tissue oxygen pressure 4 h after severe TBI. The effect of SL on brain water content was much longer than that of mannitol and persisted at 24 h post TBI. Western blot and immunofluorescence staining analyses performed 24 h after TBI revealed that SL infusion is associated with an upregulation of aquaporin 4 and K–Cl cotransporter 2.

SL is an effective therapy for treating brain edema after TBI. This study suggests, for the first time, the potential role of chloride channels in the antiedematous effect induced by exogenous SL.

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