Focal ischemia causes an extensive induction of immediate early genes that are sensitive to MK-801.
There is strong evidence to implicate glutamate in the cerebral damage caused by ischemia. In this study we investigated the role of glutamate receptors in mediating effects of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) on immediate early gene expression in the rat by quantitation of mRNA levels.
The effect of MCAO on the induction of immediate early genes was studied in five regions, both ipsilateral and contralateral to the occlusion: the "core" ischemic area of the cortex in the central region of the middle cerebral artery territory, the surrounding area, frontal cortex, occipital cortex, and hippocampus. Levels of c-fos, c-jun, zif-268, and krox-20 mRNA were measured by Northern and slot blot analysis.
A large induction of c-fos mRNA was obtained in all four cortical regions ipsilateral to the occlusion, with the greatest effect detected in the core area. Little effect was detected in the ipsilateral hippocampus and in all contralateral regions. Pretreatment with MK-801 (3 mg/kg) largely inhibited the induction of c-fos mRNA, indicating that the induction was mediated through an N-methyl-D-aspartate subtype of glutamate receptor. MCAO also produced a significant induction of c-jun and zif-268 mRNA in ipsilateral cortical regions.
These results indicate that MCAO causes a profound modulation of the expression of multiple genes in an extensive area of cerebral cortex extending beyond the immediate area supplied by the middle cerebral artery. The marked effect of MK-801 indicates the potential importance of glutamate antagonists in restricting the widespread deleterious effects of glutamate.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association