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

DALKARA T., Morikawa E., Panahian N., Moskowitz M.

American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, vol.267, no.2 36-2, 1994 (Scopus) identifier identifier


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 iv) 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.