Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2011 Sep;203(1):209-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2010.02227.x. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Late cerebral ischaemia after subarachnoid haemorrhage: is cerebrovascular receptor upregulation the mechanism behind?

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Lund, Sweden.


Late cerebral ischaemia after subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) carries high morbidity and mortality because of reduced cerebral blood flow (CBF) and subsequent cerebral ischaemia. This is associated with upregulation of contractile receptors in cerebral artery smooth muscles via the activation of intracellular signalling. In addition, delayed cerebral ischaemia after SAH is associated with inflammation and disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This article reviews recent evidence concerning the roles of vasoconstrictor receptor upregulation, inflammation and BBB breakdown in delayed cerebral ischaemia after SAH. In addition, recent studies investigating the role of various intracellular signalling pathways in these processes and the possibilities of targeting signalling components in SAH treatment are discussed. Studies using a rat SAH model have demonstrated that cerebral arteries increase their sensitivity to endogenous agonists such as ET-1 and 5-HT by increasing their smooth muscle expression of receptors for these after SAH. This is associated with reduced CBF and neurological deficits. A number of signal transduction components mediating this receptor upregulation have been identified, including the MEK-ERK1/2 pathway. Inhibition of MEK-ERK1/2 signalling has been shown to prevent cerebrovascular receptor upregulation and normalize CBF and neurological function after SAH in rats. At the same time, in rat SAH, certain cytokines and BBB-regulating proteins are upregulated in cerebral artery smooth muscles and treatment with MEK-ERK1/2 inhibitors prevents the induction of these proteins. Thus, inhibitors of MEK-ERK1/2 signalling exert multimodal beneficial effects in SAH.

© 2011 The Authors. Acta Physiologica © 2011 Scandinavian Physiological Society.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk