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Brain Res. 1993 Jun 11;613(2):181-92.

The role of early Ca2+ influx in the pathogenesis of delayed neuronal death after brief forebrain ischemia in gerbils.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Ehime University School of Medicine, Japan.


To examine the role of calcium influx in the early phase after brief forebrain ischemia and subsequent delayed neuronal cell death in the hippocampus, 45Ca autoradiography and electron microscopic cytochemistry, by a combined oxalate-pyroantimonate method, were carried out in gerbil brains after 5 min bilateral common carotid arterial occlusion. Further, neuronal damage during the ischemic and postischemic periods was determined by conventional or immunohistochemical staining for microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) with and without calcium-entry blockers. 45Ca autoradiography showed a high peak of calcium in the hippocampus at 5 min of recirculation. Electron cytochemical microscopy also demonstrated accumulation of intracellular calcium pyroantimonate deposits in the neuronal cells in all regions. At 30 min of reperfusion, amounts of calcium in the hippocampus returned to the control levels, and intracellular dense calcium pyroantimonate deposits were reduced in these areas. Loss of the reaction for MAP2 was noted in the medial CA1 of the hippocampus immediately after 5 min ischemia and at 5 and 30 min after reperfusion. MK-801 (10 mg kg-1), an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, injected intraperitoneally 1 h before ischemia, suppressed the early increase of calcium in the forebrain and neuronal cell necrosis in the CA1. However, neither injection of MK-801 30 min after reperfusion nor preischemic treatment with 0.5 mg kg-1 Nimodipine or 1 mg kg-1 Nicardipine, voltage-sensitive calcium channel antagonists, prevented neuronal death. In immunohistochemical staining for MAP2, the ischemic lesion in the medial CA1 maintained after 5 min ischemia and the subsequent early reperfusion period in the untreated brains was protected by the preischemic injection of 10 mg kg-1 MK-801, but was not restored by the injection of 0.5 mg kg-1 Nimodipine or 1 mg kg-1 Nicardipine. In conclusion, it is suggested that an early excess of calcium influx could be caused mainly by excitatory amino acid overload through NMDA receptor-mediated calcium channels during the ischemic and early postischemic periods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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