Photothrombotic infarction triggers multiple episodes of cortical spreading depression in distant brain regions

W. D. Dietrich, Z. C. Feng, H. Leistra, B. D. Watson, M. Rosenthal

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91 Scopus citations


The purposes of this study were to determine whether cortical spreading depression occurs outside of the infarct produced by photothrombotic vascular occlusion, and also the direction of spreading. Focal cerebral thrombotic infarction was produced by irradiating the exposed skull of anesthetized rats with green light (560 nm) following systemic injection of rose bengal dye. At proximal sites (∼2 mm anterior to the infarct border), transient, severe hyperemic episodes (THEs) lasting 1-2 min were intermittently recorded. THE frequency was greatest in the first hour and declined over a 3-h period. THEs were accompanied (and usually preceded) by a precipitous rise in [K+]0 (from ∼3 to >40 mM) and were associated with increases in local tissue oxygen tension (tPO2). Following the rise in [K+]0, clearance of [K+]0 to its pre-THE baseline preceded baseline recovery of CBF. These data indicate that THEs were reactive to physiologic events resembling cortical spreading depression (CSD), which provoked increased demand for oxygen and blood flow, and which spread from proximal sites to areas more distal (∼4 mm) from the rim of the evolving infarct. MK-801 (1 mg/kg, i.v.) inhibited subsequent CSD-like episodes. We conclude that photothrombosis-induced ischemia provoked CSD which was triggered either within the infarct core or in the infarct rim and spread to more distal sites. Whether multiple episodes of CSD during infarct generation are responsible for the remote consequences of focal brain injury remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994


  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Cortical spreading depression
  • Diaschisis
  • Oxygen
  • Photochemical infarction
  • Potassium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Neuroscience(all)


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