(1/2940) Synergistic protective effects of antioxidant and nitric oxide synthase inhibitor in transient focal ischemia.

Both nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors and free radical scavengers have been shown to protect brain tissue in ischemia-reperfusion injury. Nitric oxide and superoxide anion act via distinct mechanisms and react together to form the highly deleterious peroxynitrite. Therefore the authors examined the effects and the interaction between the NOS inhibitor, NG nitro-L-arginine (LNA) and the antioxidant/superoxide scavenger, di-tert-butyl-hydroxybenzoic acid (DtBHB) in the rat submitted to 2 hours of middle cerebral artery occlusion. Posttreatment was initiated 4 hours after the onset of ischemia and infarct volume was measured at 48 hours. The dose-related effect of LNA resulted in a bell-shaped curve: 15, 56, 65, and 33% reduction of total infarct for 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, and 1 mg/kg (intravenously [IV]) respectively and 11% increase in infarct volume for 3 mg/kg (IV). Whereas DtBHB (20 mg/kg; intraperitoneally [IP]) was ineffective, the dose of 60 mg/kg produced 65% protection in infarct volume. The combination of a subthreshold dose of LNA (0.03 mg/kg; IV) and DtBHB (20 mg/kg; IP) resulted in significant reduction (49%) in infarct volume. These results show that LNA and DtBHB act synergistically to provide a consistent neuroprotection against ischemic injury when administered 4 hours after ischemia. This suggests that nitric oxide and free radicals are involved and interact in synergy in ischemia-reperfusion injury.  (+info)

(2/2940) Changes in protein tyrosine phosphorylation in the rat brain after cerebral ischemia in a model of ischemic tolerance.

A brief period of sublethal cerebral ischemia, followed by several days of recovery, renders the brain resistant to a subsequent lethal ischemic insult, a phenomenon termed ischemic preconditioning or tolerance. Ischemic tolerance was established in the rat two-vessel occlusion model of ischemia, induced by occlusion of both carotid arteries in combination with hypotension. Ischemic preconditioning (3 minutes) provided maximal neuroprotection when induced 2 days prior to a lethal ischemic insult of 9-minute duration. Neuroprotection persisted for at least 8 weeks. Since neurotransmission has been implicated in ischemic cell death, the effect of ischemic preconditioning on tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins and on the levels of glutamate receptor subunits in hippocampus and neocortex was studied. Regional levels of tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins in general and the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit NR2 in particular are markedly enhanced after ischemia in nonconditioned brains, in both the synaptosomal fraction and the whole-tissue homogenate of rat neocortex and hippocampus, but recover to control levels only in the preconditioned brain. Ischemic preconditioning selectively induces a decrease in the levels of the NR2A and NR2B subunits and a modest decrease in the levels of NR1 subunit proteins in the synaptosomal fraction of the neocortex but not hippocampus after the second lethal ischemia. It was concluded that ischemic preconditioning prevents a persistent change in cell signaling as evidenced by the tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins after the second lethal ischemic insult, which may abrogate the activation of detrimental cellular processes leading to cell death.  (+info)

(3/2940) Combination therapy of fasudil hydrochloride and ozagrel sodium for cerebral vasospasm following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Fasudil hydrochloride is a new type of intracellular calcium antagonist, different from the calcium entry blockers that are commonly employed for clinical use. Since September 1995, the combination of fasudil hydrochloride and ozagrel sodium, an inhibitor of thromboxane A2 synthesis, has been used to treat 60 patients at risk of cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. The effectiveness of this combination therapy was investigated by comparison with the outcome of 57 patients previously treated with only ozagrel sodium. The combination therapy was significantly more effective (p < 0.01) in reducing the incidence of low density areas on computed tomography scans, and reduced, but not significantly, the occurrence of symptomatic vasospasm. The combination therapy of fasudil hydrochloride and ozagrel sodium has superior effectiveness over only ozagrel sodium in treating patients at risk of vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.  (+info)

(4/2940) Modification of postsynaptic densities after transient cerebral ischemia: a quantitative and three-dimensional ultrastructural study.

Abnormal synaptic transmission has been hypothesized to be a cause of neuronal death resulting from transient ischemia, although the mechanisms are not fully understood. Here, we present evidence that synapses are markedly modified in the hippocampus after transient cerebral ischemia. Using both conventional and high-voltage electron microscopy, we performed two- and three-dimensional analyses of synapses selectively stained with ethanolic phosphotungstic acid in the hippocampus of rats subjected to 15 min of ischemia followed by various periods of reperfusion. Postsynaptic densities (PSDs) from both area CA1 and the dentate gyrus were thicker and fluffier in postischemic hippocampus than in controls. Three-dimensional reconstructions of selectively stained PSDs created using electron tomography indicated that postsynaptic densities became more irregular and loosely configured in postischemic brains compared with those in controls. A quantitative study based on thin sections of the time course of PSD modification indicated that the increase in thickness was both greater and more long-lived in area CA1 than in dentate gyrus. Whereas the magnitude of morphological change in dentate gyrus peaked at 4 hr of reperfusion (140% of control values) and declined thereafter, changes in area CA1 persisted and increased at 24 hr of reperfusion (191% of control values). We hypothesize that the degenerative ultrastructural alteration of PSDs may produce a toxic signal such as a greater calcium influx, which is integrated from the thousands of excitatory synapses onto dendrites, and is propagated to the neuronal somata where it causes or contributes to neuronal damage during the postischemic phase.  (+info)

(5/2940) Outcome of carotid artery occlusion is predicted by cerebrovascular reactivity.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of obtaining prognostic indications in patients with internal carotid occlusion on the basis of intracranial hemodynamic status, presence of previous symptoms of cerebrovascular failure, and baseline characteristics. METHODS: Cerebral hemodynamics were studied with transcranial Doppler ultrasonography. Cerebrovascular reactivity to apnea was calculated by means of the breath-holding index (BHI) in the middle cerebral arteries. Sixty-five patients with internal carotid artery occlusion were followed-up prospectively (median, 24 months), 23 patients were asymptomatic and 42 symptomatic (20 with transient ischemic attack and 22 with stroke). RESULTS: During the follow-up period, 11 symptomatic patients and 1 asymptomatic patient had another ischemic event ipsilateral to carotid occlusion. Among factors considered, only lower BHI values in the middle cerebral arteries ipsilateral to carotid occlusion and older age were significantly associated with the risk of developing symptoms (P=0.002 and P=0.003, respectively; Cox regression multivariate analysis). Based on our data, a cut point of the BHI value for distinguishing between pathological and normal cerebrovascular reactivity was determined to be 0.69. All patients except one, who developed TIA or stroke during the follow-up period, had BHI values ipsilateral to carotid occlusion of <0.69. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that impaired cerebrovascular reactivity is predictive for cerebral ischemic events in patients with carotid occlusion.  (+info)

(6/2940) Diffusion- and perfusion-weighted imaging in vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Better measures of cerebral tissue perfusion and earlier detection of ischemic injury are needed to guide therapy in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) patients with vasospasm. We sought to identify tissue ischemia and early ischemic injury with combined diffusion-weighted (DW) and hemodynamically weighted (HW) MRI in patients with vasospasm after SAH. METHODS: Combined DW and HW imaging was used to study 6 patients with clinical and angiographic vasospasm, 1 patient without clinical signs of vasospasm but with severe angiographic vasospasm, and 1 patient without angiographic spasm. Analysis of the passage of an intravenous contrast bolus through brain was used to construct multislice maps of relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV), relative cerebral blood flow (rCBF), and tissue mean transit time (tMTT). We hypothesize that large HW imaging (HWI) abnormalities would be present in treated patients at the time they develop neurological deficit due to vasospasm without matching DW imaging (DWI) abnormalities. RESULTS: Small, sometimes multiple, ischemic lesions on DWI were seen encircled by a large area of decreased rCBF and increased tMTT in all patients with symptomatic vasospasm. Decreases in rCBV were not prominent. MRI hemodynamic abnormalities occurred in regions supplied by vessels with angiographic vasospasm or in their watershed territories. All patients with neurological deficit showed an area of abnormal tMTT much larger than the area of DWI abnormality. MRI images were normal in the asymptomatic patient with angiographic vasospasm and the patient with normal angiogram and no clinical signs of vasospasm. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that DW/HW MRI in symptomatic vasospasm can detect widespread changes in tissue hemodynamics that encircle early foci of ischemic injury. With additional study, the technique could become a useful tool in the clinical management of patients with SAH.  (+info)

(7/2940) Estrogen provides neuroprotection in transient forebrain ischemia through perfusion-independent mechanisms in rats.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Estrogen-related neuroprotection in association with animal models of transient forebrain and focal ischemia has been documented in several recent reports. Some of those studies indicated that part of that benefit was a function of improved intraischemic vasodilating capacity. In the present study we examined whether chronic estrogen depletion and repletion affected ischemic neuropathology through perfusion-independent mechanisms. METHODS: Normal, ovariectomized (OVX), and OVX female rats treated with 17beta-estradiol (E2) were subjected to 30 minutes of transient forebrain ischemia (right common carotid occlusion plus hemorrhagic hypotension) and reperfusion. Neurological function and brain histopathology were assessed over the 72-hour recovery period. In all rats, preischemic and intraischemic cortical cerebral blood flow (CBF) levels were monitored with laser-Doppler flowmetry. In additional rats, CBF changes in the striatum and hippocampus were also monitored with laser-Doppler flowmetry probes and radiolabeled microspheres. In each experiment, the level of ischemia was targeted to a 75% to 80% reduction in cortical CBF. RESULTS: The similarity in ischemic severity among groups was supported by measurements of comparable patterns of electroencephalographic power changes during the ischemic period. Compared with normal females, OVX rats showed diminished neurological outcomes and more severe histopathology in the hippocampus and striatum. Two-week treatment of OVX rats with E2 was accompanied by postischemic neuropathological changes similar to those seen in normal females. Intraischemic CBF reductions in the hippocampus and striatum were similar in all groups (to 35% to 50% of the preischemic value) but significantly less than the cortical CBF reductions. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that estrogen provides ischemic neuroprotection through mechanisms unrelated to improvement of intraischemic cerebral perfusion.  (+info)

(8/2940) Nitric oxide production in the CA1 field of the gerbil hippocampus after transient forebrain ischemia : effects of 7-nitroindazole and NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The present study was designed to examine the time course of nitric oxide (NO) production and the source of NO in the CA1 field of the gerbil hippocampus after transient forebrain ischemia. METHODS: The production of NO in the CA1 field of the hippocampus after transient ischemia was monitored consecutively by measuring total NO metabolites (NOx-, NO2- plus NO3-) with the use of brain microdialysis. 7-Nitroindazole (7-NI) and NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester were used to dissect the relative contributions of neuronal NO synthase and endothelial NO synthase to the NO production. The histological outcomes of 7-NI in 5- and 10-minute global ischemia were also evaluated. RESULTS: The production of NO in the CA1 field of the hippocampus after ischemia was dependent on the severity of ischemia. Ischemia for 2 or 5 minutes did not induce a significant increase in NOx- levels in the CA1 field of the hippocampus after reperfusion, whereas the 10- and 15-minute ischemias produced significant and persistent increases in NOx- levels. 7-NI did not inhibit the basal NOx- levels and showed no effects on NOx- levels after 5 minutes of ischemia. However, it completely inhibited the increased NOx- levels after 10 or 15 minutes of ischemia. 7-NI provided minor neuroprotection in 5 minutes but not in 10 minutes of global ischemia. CONCLUSIONS: The increased NO level in the CA1 field of the hippocampus after ischemia is produced mostly by neuronal NO synthase, whereas the basal NO level mainly originates from endothelial NO synthase. The observed neuroprotective effect of 7-NI in 5-minute global ischemia in gerbils may not be due to neuronal NO synthase inhibition by this drug.  (+info)