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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Microcirculatory, mitochondrial, and histological changes following cerebral ischemia in swine

Olga Suchadolskiene1*, Andrius Pranskunas2, Giedre Baliutyte35, Vincentas Veikutis4, Zilvinas Dambrauskas6, Dinas Vaitkaitis1 and Vilmante Borutaite35

  • * Corresponding author: Olga Suchadolskiene olga@smp.lt

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Disaster Medicine, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Eiveniu 4, LT-50161 Kaunas, Lithuania

2 Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Eiveniu str.2, LT-50009 Kaunas, Lithuania

3 Institute of Neurosciences, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Eiveniu str. 4, LT-50161 Kaunas, Lithuania

4 Institute of Cardiology, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Sukileliu 17, LT-50009 Kaunas, Lithuania

5 Department of Biochemistry, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Eiveniu str. 4, LT-50161 Kaunas, Lithuania

6 Department of Surgery and Institute for Research of Digestive System, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Eiveniu str.2, LT-50009 Kaunas, Lithuania

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BMC Neuroscience 2014, 15:2  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-15-2

Published: 3 January 2014

Abstract

Background

Ischemic brain injury due to stroke and/or cardiac arrest is a major health issue in modern society requiring urgent development of new effective therapies. The aim of this study was to evaluate mitochondrial, microcirculatory, and histological changes in a swine model of global cerebral ischemia.

Results

In our model, significant microcirculatory changes, but only negligible histological cell alterations, were observed 3 h after bilateral carotid occlusion, and were more pronounced if the vascular occlusion was combined with systemic hypotension. Analysis of mitochondrial function showed that LEAK respiration (measured in the presence of pyruvate + malate but without ADP) was not affected in any model of global cerebral ischemia in pigs. The OXPHOS capacity with pyruvate + malate as substrates decreased compared with the control levels after bilateral carotid artery occlusion, and bilateral carotid artery occlusion + hypotension by 20% and 79%, respectively, resulting in decreases in the respiratory control index of 14% and 73%, respectively. OXPHOS capacity with succinate as a substrate remained constant after unilateral carotid artery occlusion or bilateral carotid artery occlusion, but decreased by 53% after bilateral carotid artery occlusion and hypotension compared with controls (p < 0.05, n = 3–6). Addition of exogenous cytochrome c to mitochondria isolated from ischemia brains had no effect on respiration in all models used in this study.

Conclusions

We found a decrease in microcirculation and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation activity, but insignificant neuronal death, after 3 h ischemia in all our pig models of global cerebral ischemia. Dysfunction of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation system, particularly damage to complex I of the respiratory chain, may be the primary target of the ischemic insult, and occurs before signs of neuronal death can be detected.

Keywords:
Global brain ischemia; Microcirculation; Mitochondria