The development of irreversible brain damage during repetitive periods of hypoxia and normoxia was studied in anaesthetized rats with unilateral occlusion of the carotid artery (modified Levine model). Rats were exposed to 10 min hypoxia and normoxia until severe damage developed. As indices of damage, whole striatal tissue impedance (reflecting cellular water uptake), sodium/potassium contents (due to exchange with blood), Evans Blue staining (blood-brain barrier [BBB] integrity) and silver staining (increased in irreversibly damaged neurons) were used. A substantial decrease in blood pressure was observed during the hypoxic periods possibly producing severe ischaemia. Irreversibly increased impedance, massive changes in silver staining, accumulation of whole tissue Na and loss of K occurred only after a minimum of two periods of hypoxia, but there was no disruption of the BBB. Microscopic examination of tissue sections revealed that cell death was selective with reversible impedance changes, but became massive and non-specific after irreversible increase of the impedance. The development of brain infarcts could, however, not be predicted from measurements of physiological parameters in the blood. We suggest that the development of cerebral infarction during repetitive periods of hypoxia may serve as a model for the development of brain damage in a variety of clinical conditions. Furthermore, the present model allows the screening of potential therapeutic measuring of the prevention and treatment of both infarction and selective cell death.
|Tijdschrift||Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||1|
|Status||Published - feb-1993|