Threshold of calcium disturbances after focal cerebral ischemia in rats. Implications of the window of therapeutic opportunity.
One explanation for inconclusive results with calcium channel blockers in human acute stroke trials may be incomplete information about the time course of calcium-mediated ischemic neuronal injury. This study explores the temporal relation between duration of focal ischemia and the functional activity of increased intracellular calcium as measured by calcium-calmodulin binding.
Calcium-calmodulin binding, determined by immunohistochemical assay of free calmodulin, was measured in 60 male spontaneously hypertensive rats after 2 minutes and after 1, 2, 4, and 24 hours of permanent tandem common carotid and middle cerebral artery occlusion, and after 1 and 2 hours of reversible middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by 1 and 22 hours of reperfusion, respectively. Light microscopic histological damage was measured after 1 hour of occlusion with 23 hours of reperfusion and after 24 hours of occlusion.
Significant loss of calmodulin staining in the core of the infarction was noted by 1 hour and became maximal after 4 hours of ischemia. No reversal of calmodulin staining loss was noted after reperfusion following 1 and 2 hours of ischemia. Cortical necrosis seen by light microscopy correlated well with the area of maximal calcium-calmodulin binding. The border zone area, represented by a mild loss of calmodulin staining surrounding the central core of maximal binding, gradually decreased in size and became incorporated into the central core after 4 hours of ischemia; it may represent an area of reversible ischemia.
Calcium-calmodulin binding correlates with duration of focal ischemia, and histological neuronal necrosis corresponds to the cortical areas displaying a significant loss of calmodulin staining. Inasmuch as loss of calmodulin staining represents a marker for calcium-mediated activity after ischemia, it suggests a window of opportunity within 4 hours after acute stroke for therapeutic intervention with calcium antagonists.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association