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Am J Physiol. 1994 Aug;267(2 Pt 2):H678-83.

Blood flow-dependent functional recovery in a rat model of focal cerebral ischemia.

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Stroke Research Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114.


The reduction in focal infarct volume after L-arginine has been attributed to an increase in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) within ischemic tissue. We tested the hypothesis that L-arginine-induced rCBF increases precede the recovery of spontaneous electrical activity [electrocorticogram (ECoG)] in spontaneously hypertensive rats subjected to middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion. ECoG was recorded from the penumbral region of parietal cortex by a glass microelectrode inserted into 1-mm3 cortical tissue from which blood flow was sampled by laser-Doppler flowmetry. rCBF dropped to 21 +/- 8% of the preischemic level, and ECoG was depressed by 64 +/- 13% after distal MCA occlusion. L-Arginine infusion (300 mg/kg i.v.) increased rCBF in 14 out of 18 rats, and ECoG significantly recovered in seven rats in which rCBF exceeded 31% of preischemic flow. Increases in rCBF anticipated the functional improvement in every case. Saline (n = 6) or D-arginine (n = 5) administration was ineffective. These data demonstrate that increasing rCBF can promote functional recovery in the ischemic brain and suggest that early administration of L-arginine or other vasodilators may enhance tissue survival by increasing rCBF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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