Background Previous work with 3-week hydrocephalic rats showed that white matter harm could possibly be reduced from the calcium mineral route antagonist magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). activity assays were performed at 46?days age. Results Hydrocephalic ferrets exhibited some differences in weight and behavior between treatment groups. Those receiving MgSO4 weighed less were more lethargic and displayed reduced activity compared to those receiving saline injections. Hydrocephalic ferrets developed ventriculomegaly which was not modified by MgSO4 treatment. Histological examination showed destruction of periventricular white matter. Glial fibrillary acidic protein content myelin basic protein content and myelin enzyme activity did not differ significantly between treatment groups. Conclusion The hydrocephalus-associated disturbances in juvenile ferret brains are not ameliorated by MgSO4 treatment and lethargy is a significant side effect. values ≤0.05 were considered statistically significant. Statistical analyses for the behavioral tasks MRI and all biochemical analyses were conducted with the juvenile ferrets (n?=?15). Data were assessed using ANOVA and two-tailed test). From this time onward the hydrocephalic ferrets displayed enhanced signal in the periventricular white matter on the T2-weighted MR images indicating elevated water content. At 14?days post-kaolin injections (P29) MR images showed a range of ventriculomegaly in the hydrocephalic ferrets (Fig.?1). This was particularly evident in the lateral and third ventricles which were significantly enlarged (both tests). Fgf2 Ferrets were stratified according to ventricle size and alternately assigned to MgSO4 or NaCl treatment groups to ensure that there was no significant difference between hydrocephalic groups before therapy. Both hydrocephalic groups displayed further expansion of the ventricles WAY-362450 during the therapeutic period exhibiting significant progressive enlargement of the lateral (Fig.?2; Table?1) and third ventricles (all tests). Comparison of the NaCl- and MgSO4-treated ferrets showed no significant differences for any of the ventricle regions (all tests; Table?1). Fig.?1 T2-weighted magnetic resonance images showing frontal coronal slices of brains of ferrets without hydrocephalus as well as ferrets that were treated with WAY-362450 MgSO4 or NaCl between 29 and 45?days age. Progressive ventriculomegaly can be apparent in these … WAY-362450 Fig.?2 test) and 25?% much less at P28 (check). Following the 14-day time treatment period the MgSO4-treated hydrocephalic ferrets weighed less than the NaCl hydrocephalic group after and during treatment (all thinning can be apparent in both … In periventricular and perivascular foci from the white matter next to the frontal horns from the lateral ventricles NaCl and MgSO4-treated hydrocephalic ferrets shown identical GFAP immunostaining of hypertrophic astrocytes (Fig.?3). ELISA evaluation of GFAP content material was 27?% reduced the MgSO4 WAY-362450 hydrocephalic group in comparison to NaCl group however the difference had not been statistically significant (check) (Desk?1). Dialogue Mg2+ was proven to possess mild protecting benefits in rats with experimental hydrocephalus treated from 5 to 7?weeks age but not in rats treated from 1 to 3?weeks age [25 34 We had hoped that MgSO4 treatment would also yield therapeutic benefits in young hydrocephalic ferrets. As has been recommended for preclinical stroke and brain trauma studies [26 37 the experimental design included randomization blinding and multiple outcome measures. However in comparison to NaCl-treated hydrocephalic ferrets we did not find any behavioral histological or biochemical evidence to support the hypothesis that MgSO4 therapy at the same dose that was effective in rats benefits hydrocephalic ferrets. Treated ferrets had transient sedation which is well-documented  impaired weight gain and tendency to greater progression of ventriculomegaly. Despite more severely enlarged ventricles MgSO4 treatment was associated with reduced GFAP accumulation in ferrets albeit not significantly; this finding is similar to that seen in hydrocephalic rats treated from 5 to 7?weeks age . Reduced astroglial reaction has also been reported in kaolin-induced and congenitally hydrocephalic H-Tx rats treated with minocycline or decorin [39-41]. Although reduced GFAP accumulation is often considered an indicator of benefit another possibility is that Mg2+ which blocks signaling between astrocytes  simply masks the astrocytic response to brain damage. Why was MgSO4 therapy unsuccessful in hydrocephalic ferrets? Rationale for the experiment was.