Induction of HSP70 in rat brain following subarachnoid hemorrhage produced by endovascular perforation

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✓ Current experimental research on subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) has been limited by the lack of a small-animal model that physiologically resembles SAH and consistently demonstrates acute and delayed cellular injury. Recently, a model for inducing SAH by endovascular perforation of the internal carotid artery has been developed in the rat. This model physiologically resembles SAH. However, little histological data detailing cellular injury after SAH are available in this or other models. Using immunocytochemistry, the authors investigated the induction of the 70-kD heat shock protein, HSP70, a sensitive marker for cellular stress or injury in the brain, 1 and 5 days following endovascular SAH. The authors also used the conventional histological techniques of cresyl violet and hematoxylin and eosin staining to investigate cellular damage 1 and 5 days after the endovascular SAH.

One day following the SAH, HSP70 was induced in all six animals examined in multiple anatomical regions, including the basal forebrain, thalamus, neocortex, striatum, and hippocampus. This HSP70 induction was observed in multiple vascular distributions bilaterally. Immunostaining with HSP70 occurred primarily in neurons but also was observed in glia and endothelium. Five days after the SAH, a similar but more intense pattern of HSP70 immunostaining was observed in all eight animals examined. Specifically, HSP70 immunoreactivity was observed in at least one region of the hippocampus more often at 5 days (six of eight animals) than at 1 day (one of six animals, p < 0.05, one-tailed Fisher's exact test). No HSP70 immunostaining was observed in control animals at 1 day or at 5 days. Conventional histology demonstrated foci of ischemic neuronal damage and cellular necrosis; however, HSP70 immunocytochemistry detailed cellular injury far better than conventional histology in all animals tested at both 1 day and 5 days.

Our results demonstrate that HSP70 is induced in multiple regions and cell types 1 day and 5 days following endovascular SAH. Because ischemia is a known inducer of stress genes, the authors propose that acute and delayed ischemia are the processes responsible for the induction of HSP70 that was observed at 1 day and 5 days, respectively. Investigation of HSP70 induction following endovascular SAH may also serve as the basis for a new, inexpensive animal model to assess potential therapeutic interventions.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Paul G. Matz, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Box 0112, Moffitt Hospital, M787, San Francisco, California 94143.
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