Argon gas: a potential neuroprotectant and promising medical therapyReport as inadecuate

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Medical Gas Research

, 4:3

Inert gases


Argon is a noble gas element that has demonstrated narcotic and protective abilities that may prove useful in the medical field. The earliest records of argon gas have exposed its ability to exhibit narcotic symptoms at hyperbaric pressures greater than 10 atmospheres with more recent evidence seeking to display argon as a potential neuroprotective agent. The high availability and low cost of argon provide a distinct advantage over using similarly acting treatments such as xenon gas. Argon gas treatments in models of brain injury such as in vitro Oxygen-Glucose-Deprivation OGD and Traumatic Brain Injury TBI, as well as in vivo Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion MCAO have largely demonstrated positive neuroprotective behavior. On the other hand, some warning has been made to potential negative effects of argon treatments in cases of ischemic brain injury, where increases of damage in the sub-cortical region of the brain have been uncovered. Further support for argon use in the medical field has been demonstrated in its use in combination with tPA, its ability as an organoprotectant, and its surgical applications. This review seeks to summarize the history and development of argon gas use in medical research as mainly a neuroprotective agent, to summarize the mechanisms associated with its biological effects, and to elucidate its future potential.

KeywordsArgon Xenon Noble gas Inert gas Narcosis Anesthesia Neuroprotection Organoprotection Ischemia Brain injury Oxygen-Glucose deprivation Traumatic brain injury Middle cerebral artery occlusion Tissue plasminogen activation Argon plasma coagulation AbbreviationsLDHLactate dehydrogenase

OGDOxygen glucose deprivation

TBITraumatic brain injury

MCAOMiddle cerebral artery occlusion


NMDARN-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor

GABAγ-Aminobutyric ccid

GABAARγ-Aminobutyric acid type-A receptor

tPATissue plasminogen activator

APCArgon plasma coagulation.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-2045-9912-4-3 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Derek S Nowrangi - Jiping Tang - John H Zhang


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