Vascularization Pattern After Ischemic Stroke is Different in Control Versus Diabetic Rats
Relevance to Stroke Recovery
Background and Purpose—Pre-existing diabetes mellitus worsens brain functionality in ischemic stroke. We have previously shown that type 2 diabetic rats exhibit enhanced dysfunctional cerebral neovascularization and when these rats are subjected to cerebral ischemic reperfusion injury develop hemorrhagic transformation and greater neurological deficits. However, our knowledge of vascular and functional plasticity during the recovery phase of diabetic stroke is limited. This study tested the hypothesis that vascular repair is impaired in the poststroke period in diabetes mellitus, and this is associated with poor sensorimotor and cognitive function. We further hypothesized that glycemic control prevents impaired vascularization and improves functional outcome in diabetes mellitus.
Methods—Vascularization was assessed in the ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres in control, diabetes mellitus and diabetes mellitus plus metformin groups 14 days after ischemic reperfusion injury, as well as in respective sham controls. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-stained vasculature was achieved by confocal microscopy, and stereological parameters, including vascular volume and surface area, were measured. Astrogliosis was determined by glial fibrillary acidic protein staining. The relative rates of sensorimotor recovery, cognitive decline, and spontaneous activity were assessed.
Results—Vascular density in the peri-infarct area was significantly reduced in diabetes mellitus, whereas there was reparative neovascularization in control rats. Astroglial swelling and reactivity were more pronounced in diabetic stroke compared with control stroke. Diabetes mellitus blunted sensorimotor recovery and also exacerbated anxiety-like symptoms and cognitive deficits. Glycemic control started after stroke partially prevented these changes.
Conclusions—Diabetes mellitus impairs poststroke reparative neovascularization and impedes the recovery. Glycemic control after stroke can improve neurovascular repair and improve functional outcome.
- Received April 1, 2013.
- Revision received June 20, 2013.
- Accepted June 26, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.