Perivascular nitric oxide and superoxide in neonatal cerebral hypoxia-ischemia. Academic Article uri icon


  • Decreased cerebral blood flow (CBF) has been observed following the resuscitation from neonatal hypoxic-ischemic injury, but its mechanism is not known. We address the hypothesis that reduced CBF is due to a change in nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide anion O(2)(-) balance secondary to endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) uncoupling with vascular injury. Wistar rats (7 day old) were subjected to cerebral hypoxia-ischemia by unilateral carotid occlusion under isoflurane anesthesia followed by hypoxia with hyperoxic or normoxic resuscitation. Expired CO(2) was determined during the period of hyperoxic or normoxic resuscitation. Laser-Doppler flowmetry was used with isoflurane anesthesia to monitor CBF, and cerebral perivascular NO and O(2)(-) were determined using fluorescent dyes with fluorescence microscopy. The effect of tetrahydrobiopterin supplementation on each of these measurements and the effect of apocynin and N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) administration on NO and O(2)(-) were determined. As a result, CBF in the ischemic cortex declined following the onset of resuscitation with 100% O(2) (hyperoxic resuscitation) but not room air (normoxic resuscitation). Expired CO(2) was decreased at the onset of resuscitation, but recovery was the same in normoxic and hyperoxic resuscitated groups. Perivascular NO-induced fluorescence intensity declined, and O(2)(-)-induced fluorescence increased in the ischemic cortex after hyperoxic resuscitation up to 24 h postischemia. L-NAME treatment reduced O(2)(-) relative to the nonischemic cortex. Apocynin treatment increased NO and reduced O(2)(-) relative to the nonischemic cortex. The administration of tetrahydrobiopterin following the injury increased perivascular NO, reduced perivascular O(2)(-), and increased CBF during hyperoxic resuscitation. These results demonstrate that reduced CBF follows hyperoxic resuscitation but not normoxic resuscitation after neonatal hypoxic-ischemic injury, accompanied by a reduction in perivascular production of NO and an increase in O(2)(-). The finding that tetrahydrobiopterin, apocynin, and L-NAME normalized radical production suggests that the uncoupling of perivascular NOS, probably eNOS, due to acquired relative tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency occurs after neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. It appears that both NOS uncoupling and the activation of NADPH oxidase participate in the changes of reactive oxygen concentrations seen in cerebral hypoxic-ischemic injury.

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Fabian, R. H., Perez-Polo, J. R., & Kent, T. A.

citation count

  • 51

complete list of authors

  • Fabian, Roderic H||Perez-Polo, J Regino||Kent, Thomas A

publication date

  • October 2008