The evolution of brain infarcts during permanent occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) was studied in mice using multiparametric imaging techniques. Regional protein synthesis and the regional tissue content of ATP were measured on adjacent cryostat sections at increasing intervals after vascular occlusion ranging from 1 hour to 3 days. The observed changes were correlated with the expression of the mRNA of hsp70, c-fos, c-jun, and junB, as well as the distribution of DNA double-strand breaks visualized by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labelling (TUNEL). One hour after MCA occlusion, the tissue volume with suppressed protein synthesis was distinctly larger than that in which ATP was depleted. With ongoing ischemia time, the ATP-depleted area gradually expanded and, within 1 day, merged with the region of suppressed protein synthesis. Expression of hsp70 mRNA occurred mainly in the penumbra (defined as the region of suppressed protein synthesis but preserved ATP), peaking at 3 hours after vascular occlusion. Expression of the immediate-early genes c-jun, c- fos, and junB increased both in the penumbra and the periinfarct normal tissue already at 1 hour after vascular occlusion, with slightly different regional and temporal patterns for each of these genes. DNA fragmentations were clearly confined to neurons; they appeared after 1 day in the infarct core (defined as the region of suppressed ATP) and never were detected in the penumbra. The late appearance of TUNEL after infarcts had reached their final size and the absence in the penumbra points against a major pathogenetic role of apoptosis. Permanent MCA occlusion in mice thus produces a gradually expanding infarct, the final size of which is heralded by the early inhibition of protein synthesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine