Object. Rho A, a small guanosine triphosphate—binding protein, and rho kinases have been suggested to play an important role in the agonist-induced myofilament Ca++ sensitization and cytoskeletal organization of smooth-muscle cells. To discover their possible roles in the prolonged contraction seen in cerebral vasospasm, the authors investigated the messenger (m)RNA expressions of rho A and rho-associated kinases α and β in the basilar artery (BA) of a rat double cisternal blood—injection model.
Methods. An experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) was achieved in rats by twice injecting autologous arterial blood into the cisterna magna of each animal. The mRNAs for rho A and rho-associated kinases α and β of the rat BA were analyzed using reverse transcription—polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The cisternal blood injection induced a marked corrugation of elastic lamina and contraction of smooth-muscle cells observed with the aid of light and transmission electron microscopy in the rat BA on Days 3, 5, and 7. Results of the RT-PCR revealed that mRNAs for rho A and rho kinases α and β were expressed in the rat BA and that they were significantly upregulated and reached their peaks on Day 5.
Conclusions. The mRNA upregulation of these proteins indicates that activation of rho A/rho kinase—related signal transduction pathways is involved in the development of long-lasting contraction of cerebral arteries after SAH.