Neuronal network disturbance after focal ischemia in rats.
We studied functional disturbances following left middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. Neuronal function was evaluated by [14C]2-deoxyglucose autoradiography 1 day after occlusion. We analyzed the mechanisms of change in glucose utilization outside the infarct using Fink-Heimer silver impregnation, axonal transport of wheat germ agglutinin-conjugated-horseradish peroxidase, and succinate dehydrogenase histochemistry. One day after occlusion, glucose utilization was remarkably reduced in the areas surrounding the infarct. There were many silver grains indicating degeneration of the synaptic terminals in the cortical areas surrounding the infarct and the ipsilateral cingulate cortex. Moreover, in the left thalamus where the left middle cerebral artery supplied no blood, glucose utilization significantly decreased compared with sham-operated rats. In the left thalamus, massive silver staining of degenerated synaptic terminals and decreases in succinate dehydrogenase activity were observed 4 and 5 days after occlusion. The absence of succinate dehydrogenase staining may reflect early changes in retrograde degeneration of thalamic neurons after ischemic injury of the thalamocortical pathway. Terminal degeneration even affected areas remote from the infarct: there were silver grains in the contralateral hemisphere transcallosally connected to the infarct and in the ipsilateral substantia nigra. Axonal transport study showed disruption of the corticospinal tract by subcortical ischemia; the transcallosal pathways in the cortex surrounding the infarct were preserved. The relation between neural function and the neuronal network in the area surrounding the focal cerebral infarct is discussed with regard to ischemic penumbra and diaschisis.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association