A rat model of ischemic tolerance is useful for studying the intrinsic cellular mechanism of resistance to cerebral ischemia. Many types of preconditioning in the brain have been reported to induce ischemic tolerance; however, evaluation of their neuroprotective effect is primarily limited to differences in counts of surviving cells. A lesser but still large number of neurons die in the neocortex after global ischemia following ischemic tolerance. This study addressed the issue of whether any type of preconditioning could elicit a tolerance that limited the size of cerebral infarct against temporary focal ischemia. Cortical spreading depression was induced for a prolonged period and, after various intervals, the stress of temporary focal ischemia was evaluated in rats. Ten groups of male rats ( n =8 each) were studied. In the first group, temporary focal ischemia was induced by occlusion of three vessels (bilateral carotid arteries and left middle cerebral artery, MCA) for 2 h (control). In the second to seventh groups, cortical spreading depression was generated by continuously infusing 4 M potassium chloride (KCl)(1.0 μ l/h for 2 days) into the left neocortex via an osmotic pump. On days 6, 9, 12, 15, 21 and 24 (day 0=day of pump removal), temporary focal ischemia was induced in one of these groups. In the other three groups, saline was infused instead of KCl, and on day 6, 12 or 21, temporary focal ischemia was induced. All rats were sacrificed 2 days after the ischemia and the infarct volume was analyzed using TTC staining of brain slices. In a separate group of animals, regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) at the periinfarct area (penumbra) was monitored before and during the ischemia with a laser-Doppler flowmetry (LDF) system on day 12 following saline ( n =5) or KCl infusion ( n =5) for 48 h. To obtain the absolute rCBF value before ischemia following saline ( n =5) or KCl infusion ( n =5), hydrogen clearance was examined in the same cortex under the same anesthesia. The cerebral infarct volume was gradually reduced as the interval between the induction of the spreading depression and the induction of temporary focal ischemia was extended. There was a significant reduction in infarct size between the control and the groups in which ischemia was induced on day 12 or 15. There was no significant difference in the preischemic or intraischemic rCBF between the saline and KCl-infused groups. The preconditioning method was demonstrated to limit the size of cerebral infarct after temporary focal cerebral ischemia; tolerance for cerebral infarct developed after an extended interval following a long period of spreading depression.
Brain Research – Elsevier
Published: Feb 16, 1998
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