Saema Ansar and Lars Edvinsson
Cerebral ischemia remains the key cause of disability and death in the late phase after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), and its pathogenesis is still poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the change in intracranial pressure or the extravasated blood causes the late cerebral ischemia and the upregulation of receptors or the cerebral vasoconstriction observed following SAH.
Rats were allocated to 1 of 3 experimental conditions: 1) cisternal injection of 250 μl blood (SAH Group), 2) cisternal injection of 250 μl NaCl (Saline Group), or 3) the same procedure but without fluid injection (Sham Group). Two days after the procedure, the basilar and middle cerebral arteries were harvested, and contractile responses to endothelin (ET)–1 and 5-carboxamidotryptamine (5-CT) were investigated by means of myography. In addition, real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the mRNA levels for ETA, ETB, and 5-HT1 receptors. Regional and global cerebral blood flow (CBF) were quantified by means of an autoradiographic technique.
Compared with the sham condition, both SAH and saline injection resulted in significantly enhanced contraction of cerebral arteries in response to ET-1 and 5-CT. Regional and global CBF were reduced both in the Saline and SAH groups compared with the Sham Group. The mRNA levels for ETB and 5-HT1B receptors were upregulated after SAH and saline injection compared with the sham procedure. The effects in all parameters were more pronounced for SAH than for saline injection.
This study revealed that both the elevation of intracranial pressure and subarachnoid blood per se contribute approximately equally to the late CBF reductions and receptor upregulation following SAH.
Petter Vikman, Saema Ansar and Lars Edvinsson
Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) results in the expression of inflammatory and extracellular matrix (ECM)–related genes and various G protein–coupled receptors. In the present study, the authors evaluated the time course and sequence of the transduction pathways, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase–1 and 2 (ERK1/2), and associated transcription factor activation as well as gene regulation and associated protein levels.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage was induced in rats by injecting 250 μl of blood into the suprachiasmatic cistern, and gene regulation in the cerebral arteries was examined at various points in time following SAH by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry.
Immunohistochemical findings demonstrated that SAH phosphorylates and activates p38 and ERK1/2 as well as the downstream transcription factors Elk-1 and activating transcription factor–2. The pattern of activation consists of a rapid phase within the first few hours and a late phase that occurs from 24 to 48 hours. Activation is followed by an increase in the transcription of the inflammatory and ECM-related genes (IL6, TNFα, IL1β, CXCL1, CXCL2, CCL20, MMP8, MMP9, MMP13, and iNOS), as demonstrated using real-time PCR. For MMP13 and iNOS, the changes in transcription were translated into functional proteins, as revealed on immunohistochemistry.
Activation of the p38 and ERK1/2 signaling pathways and their downstream transcription factors can explain the increase in the transcription of the genes studied. This increase and the subsequent augmentation in protein levels suggest that the inflammatory response may in part explain the remodeling that occurs in cerebral arteries following SAH.
Saema Ansar, Niels-Aage Svendgaard and Lars Edvinsson
Cerebral vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) leads to reduced cerebral blood flow (CBF) and to cerebral ischemia, in some cases even producing infarction and long-term disability. The goal of the present study was to investigate the hypothesis that inhibition of neurokinin-1 receptors (NK1Rs) by administration of L-822429 blunts the decrease in CBF as well as cerebrovascular receptor upregulation in an animal model of SAH.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage was induced in rats by injection of 250 μl of blood into the prechiasmatic cistern. The NK1R inhibitor L-822429 was injected intracisternally 30 minutes and 24 hours after the induction of SAH. Two days after SAH induction, the basilar arteries were harvested, and contractile responses to endothelin-1 (ET-1, an ETA- and ETB-receptor agonist) and 5-carboxamidotryptamine (a 5-hydroxytryptamine-1 [5-HT1]-receptor agonist) were investigated using sensitive myographs. To determine whether NK1R inhibition had an influence on local CBF after post-SAH, a quantitative autoradiographic technique was used.
After SAH, the vascular receptor phenotype was changed in cerebral arteries through upregulation of contractile ETB and 5-HT1B receptors, while regional and total CBF were markedly reduced. Treatment with the selective NK1R inhibitor L-822429 prevented both the receptor upregulation and the reduction in regional and global CBF.
The data reveal the coregulation of vascular receptor changes and blood flow effects, and also show that interaction with a small-molecule NK1R antagonist is a promising area of focus for the development of specific treatments for SAH.