Background and Purpose: Free radicals account for a significant proportion of the brain damage that occurs during ischemic stroke. Using mutant mice (X-CGD) with a dysfunctional phagocytic NADPH oxidase, we investigated the role of this superoxide-generating enzyme as a mediator of the reperfusion injury in a mouse model of middle cerebral artery occlusion. Methods: Transient (2 hour) middle cerebral artery occlusion was performed in X-CGD or wild-type litter mates (8- to 10-week-old). After 22 hours of reperfusion, brains were harvested and infarct volume delineated using 2,3,5- triphenyltetrazolium chloride. To elucidate the origin of the damaging NADPH oxidase, transient ischemia was also performed in X-CGD or wild-type mice transplanted with wild-type C57 Bl/6J or X-CGD bone marrow, respectively. Results: The infarct volume induced by transient ischemia was significantly less in X-CGD mice (29.1±5.6 mm3; n=13) than wild-type littermates (54.0±10.6 mm3; n=10; P<.05). The elimination of a functional NADPH oxidase from either the circulation or the central nervous system, by performing the appropriate bone marrow transplant experiments, did not reduce the infarct size induced by transient ischemia. This suggests that in order to confer protection against transient ischemia and reperfusion, a putative neuronal and circulating NADPH oxidase need to be inactivated. Conclusions: Brain injury was reduced in mice lacking a functional NADPH oxidase in both the central nervous system and peripheral leukocytes, suggesting a pivotal role for the NADPH oxidase in the pathogenesis of ischemia-reperfusion injury in the brain.
- Cerebral ischemia
- Free radicals