The authors studied the role of prostaglandins and free radicals in the induction of the functional and morphological pial arteriolar abnormalities produced by concussive brain injury. Anesthetized cats equipped with a cranial window for the observation of the pial microcirculation were subjected to concussive brain injury using a fluid-percussion device following administration of cyclooxygenase inhibitors (indomethacin or AHR-5850) or the vehicle for the solution of these agents (NaCl or Na 2CO 3 solution). Pial arterioles from vehicle-treated animals displayed sustained dilation, reduced responsiveness to the vasoconstrictor effect of arterial hypocapnia, and a high density of endothelial lesions. Animals pretreated with cyclooxygenase inhibitors showed less pronounced vasodilation, normal responsiveness to hypocapnia, and a significantly reduced number of lesions. The vasodilation and reduced responsiveness to the vasoconstrictor effects of hypocapnia after brain injury also were inhibited topical application of free radical scavengers (nitroblue tetrazolium, superoxide dismutase, or mannitol). The vessels from cats pretreated with free radical scavengers also had a lower density of endothelial lesions than controls. The results support the view that the immediate cause of cerebral arteriolar damage in concussive brain injury is the generation of free oxygen radicals associated with increased prostaglandin synthesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine