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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1997 Oct;17(10):1048-56.

Reperfusion injury: demonstration of brain damage produced by reperfusion after transient focal ischemia in rats.

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Department of Neurology, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, 77030, U.S.A.


During reperfusion after ischemia, deleterious biochemical processes can be triggered that may antagonize the beneficial effects of reperfusion. Research into the understanding and treatment of reperfusion injury (RI) is an important objective in the new era of reperfusion therapy for stroke. To investigate RI, permanent and reversible unilateral middle cerebral artery/common carotid artery (MCA/CCA) occlusion (monitored by laser Doppler) of variable duration in Long-Evans (LE) and spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rats and unilateral MCA and bilateral CCA occlusion in selected LE rats was induced. In LE rats, infarct volume after 24 hours of permanent unilateral MCA/CCA occlusion was 31.1 +/- 34.6 mm3 and was only 28% of the infarct volume after 120 to 300 minutes of reversible occlusion plus 24 hours of reperfusion, indicating that 72% of the damage of ischemia/reperfusion is produced by RI. When reversible ischemia was prolonged to 480 and 1080 minutes, infarct volume was 39.6 mm3 and 16.6 mm3, respectively, being indistinguishable from the damage produced by permanent ischemia and significantly smaller than damage after 120 to 300 minutes of ischemia. Reperfusion injury was not seen in SH rats or with bilateral CCA occlusion in LE rats, in which perfusion is reduced more profoundly. Reperfusion injury was ameliorated by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide or spin-trap agent N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone pretreatment.

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