Physostigmine-Induced Cerebral Protection Against Hypoxia

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Physostigmine, at 0.1,0.2 and 0.3 mg/kg, was tested for effect on the survival of mice exposed to 5% O2 −95% N2. Some treated animals survived for one hour under the hypoxic atmosphere (2 out of 14 at 0.1 mg/kg and 8 out of 28 at 0.2 and 0.3 mg/kg), an event never observed in untreated controls. The physostigmine-treated animals that died before (he hour showed a dose-related increase in survival time from 4.3 min (untreated controls) to 27.6 min (0.3 mg/kg physostigmine). This effect of physostigmine may be related to its reported ability to increase cerebral blood flow and decrease cerebral oxygen consumption.

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