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Exp Brain Res. 1997 Jan;113(1):130-7.

Relation between delayed impairment of cerebral energy metabolism and infarction following transient focal hypoxia-ischaemia in the developing brain.

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Department of Paediatrics and Neonatal Medicine, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, UK.


Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P MRS) was used to determine whether focal cerebral injury caused by unilateral carotid artery occlusion and graded hypoxia in developing rats led to a delayed impairment of cerebral energy metabolism and whether the impairment was related to the magnitude of cerebral infarction. Forty-two 14-day-old Wistar rats were subjected to right carotid artery ligation, followed by 8% oxygen for 90 min. Using a 7T MRS system. 31P brain spectra were collected during the period from before until 48 h after hypoxia-ischaemia. Twenty-eight control animals were studied similarly. In controls, the ratio of the concentration of phosphocreatine ([PCr]) to inorganic orthophosphate ([Pi]) was 1.75 (SD 0.34) and nucleotide triphosphate (NTP) to total exchangeable phosphate pool (EPP) was 0.20 (SD 0.04): both remained constant. In animals subjected to hypoxia-ischaemia, [PCr] to [Pi] and [NTP] to [EPP] were lower in the 0- to 3-h period immediately following the insult: 0.87 (0.48) and 0.13 (0.04), respectively. Values then returned to baseline level, but subsequently declined again: [PCr] to [Pi] at -0.02 h-1 (P < 0.0001). [PCr] to [Pi] attained a minimum of 1.00 (0.33) and [NTP] to [EPP] a minimum of 0.14 (0.05) at 30-40 h. Both ratios returned towards baseline between 40 and 48 h. The late declines in high-energy phosphates were not associated with a fall in pHi. There was a significant relation between the extent of the delayed impairment of energy metabolism and the magnitude of the cerebral infarction (P < 0.001). Transient focal hypoxia-ischaemia in the 14-day-old rat thus leads to a biphasic disruption of cerebral energy metabolism, with a period of recovery after the insult being followed by a secondary impairment some hours later.

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