Blood-brain barrier sodium transport limits development of brain edema during partial ischemia in gerbils.
Sodium derived from the blood is known to accumulate in brain tissue during the early stages of incomplete ischemia. Our present studies were undertaken to determine the relation between blood-brain barrier sodium transport and the development of ischemic brain edema. Incomplete cerebral ischemia was produced in gerbils by ligation of the left common carotid artery under ether anesthesia. Following recovery from the anesthetic, the gerbis were evaluated for the presence of neurologic symptoms and were divided into symptomatic (n = 77) and asymptomatic (n = 94) groups. Tissue water, sodium, and potassium contents, tissue plasma volume, and brain uptake of 22Na were measured in both groups 1.5, 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours after carotid ligation. There was a progressive accumulation of sodium and water in the ipsilateral cerebral cortex of the symptomatic group compared with either the corresponding contralateral cortex of the same gerbils or with the asymptomatic group. Net changes in brain sodium and potassium concentrations appeared to be the main determinants of fluid accumulation. Brain edema was not due to opening of the blood-brain barrier because the unidirectional transport of 22Na remained low and was even reduced by 35-55% in the ischemic cortex. Nevertheless, this sodium transport activity appeared to be rate-limiting in the development of brain edema during the first 3 hours of ischemia because the rate of sodium accumulation in the tissue was the same as the rate of 22Na transport from the blood to the brain. We conclude that blood-brain barrier sodium transport is an important factor in the formation of ischemic brain edema.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association