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Guohua Xi, Richard F. Keep and Julian T. Hoff

Object. The mechanisms of brain edema formation following spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) are not well understood. In previous studies, no significant edema formation has been found 24 hours after infusion of packed red blood cells (RBCs) into the brain of a rat or pig; however, there is evidence that hemoglobin can be neurotoxic. In this study, the authors reexamined the role of RBCs and hemoglobin in edema formation after ICH.

Methods. The experiments involved infusion of whole blood, packed RBCs, lysed RBCs, rat hemoglobin, or thrombin into the right basal ganglia of Sprague—Dawley rats. The animals were killed at different time points and brain water and ion contents were measured. The results showed that lysed autologous erythrocytes, but not packed erythrocytes, produced marked brain edema 24 hours after infusion and that this edema formation could be mimicked by hemoglobin infusion. Although infusion of packed RBCs did not produce dramatic brain edema during the first 2 days, it did induce a marked increase in brain water content 3 days postinfusion. Edema formation following thrombin infusion peaked at 24 to 48 hours. This is earlier than the peak in edema formation that follows ICH, suggesting that there is a delayed, nonthrombin-mediated, edemogenic component of ICH.

Conclusions. These results demonstrate that RBCs play a potentially important role in delayed edema development after ICH and that RBC lysis and hemoglobin toxicity may be useful targets for therapeutic intervention.

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Oren Sagher, Dah-Luen Huang and Richard F. Keep

Object. The authors previously showed that spinal cord stimulation (SCS) increases cerebral blood flow in rats, indicating that this technique may be useful in the treatment of focal cerebral ischemia. In the present study, the neuroprotective potential of SCS in the setting of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was investigated.

Methods. The authors induced permanent, focal cerebral ischemia by using either suture-induced occlusion or direct division of the MCA in Sprague—Dawley rats. Electrical stimulation of the cervical spinal cord was performed during cerebral ischemia. Cerebral blood flow was assessed using both laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) and quantitative radiotracer analysis. Stroke volumes were analyzed after 6 hours of ischemia.

Spinal cord stimulation resulted in a 52.7 ± 13.3% increase in LDF values (nine animals). Following MCAO, LDF values decreased by 64.1 ± 3.6% from baseline values (10 animals). Spinal cord stimulation subsequently increased LDF values to 30.9 ± 13.5% below original baseline values. These findings were corroborated using radiotracer studies. Spinal cord stimulation in the setting of transcranial MCAO significantly reduced stroke volumes as well (from 203 ± 33 mm3 [control] to 32 ± 8 mm3 [MCAO plus SCS], seven animals in each group, p < 0.001). Similarly, after suture-induced MCAO, SCS reduced stroke volumes (from 307 ± 29 mm3 [control] to 78 ± 22 mm3 [MCAO plus SCS], 10 animals in each group, p < 0.001).

Conclusions. A strategy of performing SCS for the prevention of critical ischemia is feasible and may have the potential for the treatment and prevention of stroke.

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Julian T. Hoff, Richard F. Keep and Guohua Xi

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Ya Hua, Guohua Xi, Richard F. Keep and Julian T. Hoff

Object. Brain edema formation following intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) appears to be partly related to erythrocyte lysis and hemoglobin release. Erythrocyte lysis may be mediated by the complement cascade, which then triggers parenchymal injury. In this study the authors examine whether the complement cascade is activated after ICH and whether inhibition of complement attenuates brain edema around the hematoma.

Methods. This study was divided into three parts. In the first part, 100 µl of autologous blood was infused into the rats' right basal ganglia, and the animals were killed at 24 and 72 hours after intracerebral infusion. Their brains were tested for complement factors C9, C3d, and clusterin (a naturally occurring complement inhibitor) by using immunohistochemical analysis. In the second part of the study, the rats were killed at 24 or 72 hours after injection of 100 µl of blood. The C9 and clusterin proteins were quantitated using Western blot analysis. In the third part, the rats received either 100 µl of blood or 100 µl of blood plus 10 µg of N-acetylheparin (a complement activation inhibitor). Then they were killed 24 or 72 hours later for measurement of brain water and ion contents. It was demonstrated on Western blot analysis that there had been a sixfold increase in C9 around the hematoma 24 hours after the infusion of 100 µl of autologous blood. Marked perihematomal C9 immunoreactivity was detected at 72 hours. Clusterin also increased after ICH and was expressed in neurons 72 hours later. The addition of N-acetylheparin significantly reduced brain edema formation in the ipsilateral basal ganglia at 24 hours (78.5 ± 0.5% compared with 81.6 ± 0.8% in control animals, p < 0.001) and at 72 hours (80.9 ± 2.2% compared with 83.6 ± 0.9% in control animals, p < 0.05) after ICH.

Conclusions. It was found that ICH causes complement activation in the brain. Activation of complement and the formation of membrane attack complex contributes to brain edema formation after ICH. Blocking the complement cascade could be an important step in the therapy for ICH.

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Feng-Ping Huang, Guohua Xi, Richard F. Keep, Ya Hua, Andrei Nemoianu and Julian T. Hoff

Object. The mechanisms involved in brain edema formation following intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) have not been fully elucidated. The authors have found that red blood cell lysis plays an important role in edema development after ICH. In the present study, they sought to determine whether degradation products of hemoglobin cause brain edema.

Methods. Hemoglobin, hemin, bilirubin, or FeCl2 were infused with stereotactic guidance into the right basal ganglia of Sprague—Dawley rats. The animals were killed 24 hours later to determine brain water and ion contents. Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry were applied for heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) measurement. The effects of an HO inhibitor, tin-protoporphyrin (SnPP), and the iron chelator deferoxamine, on hemoglobin-induced brain edema were also examined.

Intracerebral infusion of hemoglobin, hemin, bilirubin, or FeCl2 caused an increase in brain water content at 24 hours. The HO-1 was upregulated after hemoglobin infusion and HO inhibition by SnPP-attenuated hemoglobin-induced edema. Brain edema induced by hemoglobin was also attenuated by the intraperitoneal injection of 500 mg/kg deferoxamine.

Conclusions. Hemoglobin causes brain edema, at least in part, through its degradation products. Limiting hemoglobin degradation coupled with the use of iron chelators may be a novel therapeutic approach to limit brain edema after ICH.

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Gang Wu, Xuhui Bao, Guohua Xi, Richard F. Keep, B. Gregory Thompson and Ya Hua

Object

Hypertension is the main cause of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhages (ICHs), but the effects of hypertension on ICH-induced brain injury have not been well studied. In this study, the authors examined ICH-induced brain injury in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs).

Methods

This 2-part study was performed in 12-week-old male SHRs and Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats. First, the rats received an intracaudate injection of 0.3 U collagenase, and hematoma sizes were determined at 24 hours. Second, rats were injected with 100 μl autologous whole blood into the right basal ganglia. Brain edema, neuronal death, ferritin expression, microglia activation, and neurological deficits were examined.

Results

Hematoma sizes were the same in SHR and WKY rats 24 hours after collagenase injection. The SHRs had greater neuronal death and neurological deficits after blood injection. Intracerebral hemorrhage also resulted in higher brain ferritin levels and stronger activation of microglia in SHRs. However, perihematomal brain edema was the same in the SHRs and WKY rats.

Conclusions

Moderate chronic hypertension resulted in more severe ICH-induced neuronal death and neurological deficits, but did not exaggerate hematoma enlargement and perihematomal brain edema in the rat ICH models.

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Takehiro Nakamura, Richard F. Keep, Ya Hua, Timothy Schallert, Julian T. Hoff and Guohua Xi

Object

In the authors' previous studies they found that brain iron accumulation and oxidative stress contribute to secondary brain damage after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). In the present study they investigated whether deferoxamine, an iron chelator, can reduce ICH-induced brain injury.

Methods

Male Sprague–Dawley rats received an infusion of 100 μl of autologous whole blood into the right basal ganglia and were killed 1, 3, or 7 days thereafter. Iron distribution was examined histochemically (enhanced Perl reaction). The effects of deferoxamine on ICH-induced brain injury were examined by measuring brain edema and neurological deficits. Apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease/redox effector factor–1 (APE/Ref-1), a repair mechanism for DNA oxidative damage, was quantitated by Western blot analysis.

Iron accumulation was observed in the perihematoma zone beginning 1 day after ICH. Deferoxamine attenuated brain edema, neurological deficits, and ICH-induced changes in APE/Ref-1.

Conclusions

Deferoxamine and other iron chelators may be potential therapeutic agents for treating ICH. They may act by reducing the oxidative stress caused by the release of iron from the hematoma.

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Takehiro Nakamura, Richard F. Keep, Ya Hua, Timothy Schallert, Julian T. Hoff and Guohua Xi

Object. Previous studies undertaken by the authors have indicated that iron accumulation and oxidative stress in the brain contribute to secondary brain damage after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). In the present study the authors investigate whether deferoxamine, an iron chelator, can reduce ICH-induced brain injury.

Methods. Male Sprague—Dawley rats each received an infusion of 100 µl of autologous whole blood into the right basal ganglia and were killed 1, 3, or 7 days later. Iron distribution was examined histochemically (enhanced Perls reaction). The effects of deferoxamine on ICH-induced brain injury were examined by measuring brain edema and neurological deficits. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to investigate 8-hydroxyl-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a marker of oxidative DNA damage, and Western blot analysis was performed to measure the amount of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease/redox effector factor—1 (APE/Ref-1), a repair mechanism for DNA oxidative damage.

Iron accumulation was observed in the perihematomal zone from 1 day after ICH. Deferoxamine attenuated brain edema, neurological deficits, and ICH-induced changes in 8-OHdG and APE/Ref-1.

Conclusions. Deferoxamine and other iron chelators may be potential therapeutic agents for ICH. They may act by reducing the oxidative stress caused by the release of iron from the hematoma.

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Ya Hua, Takehiro Nakamura, Richard F. Keep, Jimin Wu, Timothy Schallert, Julian T. Hoff and Guohua Xi

Object

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) causes brain atrophy and neurological deficits. The mechanisms of brain atrophy after ICH are poorly understood, although recent evidence suggests that some ICH-induced brain injury results from the products of hemoglobin degradation, including iron. In this study the authors examine the role of iron in brain atrophy and neurological deficits following ICH.

Methods

Male Sprague–Dawley rats received an infusion of either 100 μl autologous whole blood or saline into the right caudate. Hematoxylin and eosin staining was used for histological examination, and iron levels and ferritin immunoreactivities were also examined. Deferoxamine was used as an iron chelator. Over the duration of the experiment, the rats underwent behavioral testing (forelimb placing, forelimb use asymmetry, and corner turn tests).

Brain atrophy in the caudate with prolonged neurological deficits occurred after ICH. Although partial functional recovery occurred with time, residual neurological deficits were still detectable at 3 months postprocedure. Iron accumulation and ferritin upregulation were present in the ipsilateral caudate. Deferoxamine reduced brain atrophy and improved behavioral outcomes, and it also reduced brain ferritin immunoreactivity.

Conclusions

An ICH results in an accumulation of iron in the brain that is not cleared within 3 months and that contributes to brain tissue loss and neurological deficits posthemorrhage. Iron chelation may be a useful therapy for patients with ICH.

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Kevin R. Lee, A. Lorris Betz, Richard F. Keep, Thomas L. Chenevert, Seoung Kim and Julian T. Hoff

✓ Purified thrombin from an exogenous source is a hemostatic agent commonly used in neurosurgical procedures. The toxicity of thrombin in the brain, however, has not been examined. This study was performed to assess the effect of thrombin on brain parenchyma, using the formation of brain edema as an indicator of injury.

Ten µl of test solution was infused stereotactically into the right basal ganglia of rats. The animals were sacrificed 24 hours later, and the extent of brain edema and ion content were measured. Concentrations of human thrombin as low as 1 U/µl resulted in a significant increase in brain water content. Rats receiving 10 U/µl had a mortality rate of 33% compared to no mortality in the groups receiving smaller doses. Thrombin-induced brain edema was inhibited by a specific and potent thrombin inhibitor, hirudin. A medical grade of bovine thrombin commonly used in surgery also caused brain edema when injected at a concentration of 2 U/µl. Edema formation was prevented by another highly specific thrombin inhibitor, Nα-(2-Naphthalenesulfonylglycyl)-4-dl-phenylalaninepiperidide (α-NAPAP). Thrombininduced brain edema was accompanied by increases in brain sodium and chloride contents and a decrease in brain potassium content. Changes in brain ions were inhibited by both hirudin and α-NAPAP, corresponding to the inhibition of brain water accumulation. This study shows that thrombin causes brain edema when infused into the brain at concentrations as low as 1 U/µl, an amount within the range of concentrations used for topical hemostasis in neurosurgery.