Cocaine-induced cortical microischemia in the rodent brain: clinical implications.
ABSTRACT: Cocaine-induced stroke is among the most serious medical complications associated with its abuse. However, the extent to which acute cocaine may induce silent microischemia predisposing the cerebral tissue to neurotoxicity has not been investigated; in part, because of limitations of current neuroimaging tools, that is, lack of high spatiotemporal resolution and sensitivity to simultaneously measure cerebral blood flow (CBF) in vessels of different calibers (including capillaries) quantitatively and over a large field of view. Here we combine ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography to enable tracker-free three-dimensional (3D) microvascular angiography and a new phase-intensity-mapping algorithm to enhance the sensitivity of 3D optical Doppler tomography for simultaneous capillary CBF quantization. We apply the technique to study the responses of cerebral microvascular networks to single and repeated cocaine administration in the mouse somatosensory cortex. We show that within 2-3 min after cocaine administration CBF markedly decreased (for example, ~70%), but the magnitude and recovery differed for the various types of vessels; arterioles had the fastest recovery (~5 min), capillaries varied drastically (from 4-20 min) and venules showed relatively slower recovery (~12 min). More importantly, we showed that cocaine interrupted CBF in some arteriolar branches for over 45 min and this effect was exacerbated with repeated cocaine administration. These results provide evidence that cocaine doses within the range administered by drug abusers induces cerebral microischemia and that these effects are exacerbated with repeated use. Thus, cocaine-induced microischemia is likely to be a contributor to its neurotoxic effects.
Project description:Cocaine-induced vasoconstriction reduces blood flow, which can jeopardize neuronal function and in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) it may contribute to compulsive cocaine intake. Here, we used integrated optical imaging in a rat self-administration and a mouse noncontingent model, to investigate whether changes in the cerebrovascular system in the PFC contribute to cocaine self-administration, and whether they recover with detoxification. In both animal models, cocaine induced severe vasoconstriction and marked reductions in cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the PFC, which were exacerbated with chronic exposure and with escalation of cocaine intake. Though there was a significant proliferation of blood vessels in areas of vasoconstriction (angiogenesis), CBF remained reduced even after 1 month of detoxification. Treatment with Nifedipine (Ca2+ antagonist and vasodilator) prevented cocaine-induced CBF decreases and neuronal Ca2+ changes in the PFC, and decreased cocaine intake and blocked reinstatement of drug seeking. These findings provide support for the hypothesis that cocaine-induced CBF reductions lead to neuronal deficits that contribute to hypofrontality and to compulsive-like cocaine intake in addiction, and document that these deficits persist at least one month after detoxification. Our preliminary data showed that nifedipine might be beneficial in preventing cocaine-induced vascular toxicity and in reducing cocaine intake and preventing relapse.
Project description:Cocaine affects neuronal activity and constricts cerebral blood vessels, making it difficult to determine whether cocaine-induced changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) reflect neuronal activation or its vasoactive effects. Here we assessed the effects of acute cocaine on both resting-state and stimulation responses to investigate cocaine's effects on neurovascular coupling and to differentiate its effects on neuronal activity from its vasoactive actions. We concurrently measured cortical field potentials via thinned-skull electroencephalography recordings and CBF with laser Doppler flowmetry in the rat's somatosensory cortex for both resting state and forepaw stimulation before and following cocaine administration (1?mg?kg(-1), intravenously). Results show both resting-state field potentials and CBF were depressed after cocaine administration (19.8±4.7% and 52.1±13.4%, respectively) and these changes were strongly correlated with each other (r=0.81, P<0.001), indicating that cocaine did not affect neurovascular coupling at rest and that the reduction in resting CBF reflected reduction in synchronized spontaneous neuronal activity rather than vasoconstriction. In contrast, the forepaw stimulation-evoked neuronal activity was not changed by cocaine (P=0.244), whereas the CBF to the stimulation was reduced 49.9±2.6% (P=0.028) gradually recovering ?20?min after cocaine injection, indicating that neurovascular coupling during stimulation was temporarily disrupted by cocaine. Neurovascular uncoupling by cocaine during stimulation but not during rest indicates that distinct processes might underlie neurovascular regulation for both stimulation and spontaneous activity. The greater reductions by cocaine to the stimulation-induced CBF increases than to the background CBF should be considered when interpreting functional MRI studies comparing activation responses between controls and cocaine abusers. Neurovascular uncoupling could contribute to cocaine's neurotoxicity, particularly for stimulation conditions when CBF might be insufficient to cover for the energetic demands of neuronal tissue.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Several indices exist to assess cerebral perfusion after cardiac arrest (CA). We aimed to investigate a new approach allowing absolute flow and microvascular resistance measurement based on selective arterial continuous thermodilution before and after CA resuscitation in a porcine model. METHODS:In anaesthetised pigs, intravascular absolute cerebral blood flow (CBF) and absolute coronary blood flow (ABF) with corresponding microvascular resistances were measured. CA was induced using overdrive pacing with 3 (group 1, n?=?5) or 5 min (group 2, n?=?8) of no flow. After resuscitation, CBF was performed at baseline, at 15 min (T15) and at 30 min (T30). Thereafter, CBF in the contralateral cerebral artery and ABF were measured. RESULTS:The protocol could not be completed in three pigs from group 2 due to haemodynamic instability. In the entire cohort, CBF was significantly lower at T30 after CA (0.026?±?0.02 L/min vs 0.040?±?0.03 at baseline; p?=?0.03) and cerebral microvascular resistances were significantly higher (3202?±?1838 Woods units vs 2014?±?1015 at baseline; p?=?0.04). ABF and resistances remained stable at baseline, as compared to T30 (0.122?±?0.05 vs. 0.143?±?0.06 L/min; p?=?0.15 and 563?±?203 vs. 478?±?181 Woods units; p?=?0.36, respectively). At T30, no significant differences in cerebral flow dynamics were observed between groups. CONCLUSIONS:ABF and CBF measurement after CA resuscitation is feasible with thermodilution technique, allowing accurate monitoring and measurements. This novel approach allows simultaneous measurements of flow and microvascular resistances. This animal model simplifies cerebral perfusion measurements and allows to test new therapies to reduce cerebral injury post cardiac arrest.
Project description:Perfusion-weighted imaging is used to select patients with acute ischemic stroke for intervention, but knowledge of cerebral perfusion can also inform the understanding of ischemic injury. Arterial spin labeling allows repeated measurement of absolute cerebral blood flow (CBF) without the need for exogenous contrast. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between dynamic CBF and tissue outcome in the month after stroke onset.Patients with nonlacunar ischemic stroke underwent ?5 repeated magnetic resonance imaging scans at presentation, 2 hours, 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month. Imaging included vessel-encoded pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling using multiple postlabeling delays to quantify CBF in gray matter regions of interest. Receiver-operator characteristic curves were used to predict tissue outcome using CBF. Repeatability was assessed in 6 healthy volunteers and compared with contralateral regions of patients. Diffusion-weighted and T2-weighted fluid attenuated inversion recovery imaging were used to define tissue outcome.Forty patients were included. In contralateral regions of patients, there was significant variation of CBF between individuals, but not between scan times (mean±SD: 53±42 mL/100 g/min). Within ischemic regions, mean CBF was lowest in ischemic core (17±23 mL/100 g/min), followed by regions of early (21±26 mL/100 g/min) and late infarct growth (25±35 mL/100 g/min; ANOVA P<0.0001). Between patients, there was marked overlap in presenting and serial CBF values.Knowledge of perfusion dynamics partially explained tissue fate. Factors such as metabolism and tissue susceptibility are also likely to influence tissue outcome.
Project description:Cerebral blood flow (CBF) reductions in Alzheimer's disease patients and related mouse models have been recognized for decades, but the underlying mechanisms and resulting consequences for Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis remain poorly understood. In APP/PS1 and 5xFAD mice we found that an increased number of cortical capillaries had stalled blood flow as compared to in wild-type animals, largely due to neutrophils that had adhered in capillary segments and blocked blood flow. Administration of antibodies against the neutrophil marker Ly6G reduced the number of stalled capillaries, leading to both an immediate increase in CBF and rapidly improved performance in spatial and working memory tasks. This study identified a previously uncharacterized cellular mechanism that explains the majority of the CBF reduction seen in two mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and demonstrated that improving CBF rapidly enhanced short-term memory function. Restoring cerebral perfusion by preventing neutrophil adhesion may provide a strategy for improving cognition in Alzheimer's disease patients.
Project description:Cocaine induces vasoconstriction in cerebral vessels, which with repeated use can result in transient ischemic attacks and cerebral strokes. However, the neuroadaptations that follow cocaine's vasoconstricting effects are not well understood. Here, we investigated the effects of chronic cocaine exposure (2 and 4 weeks) on markers of vascular function and morphology in the rat brain. For this purpose we measured nitric oxide (NO) concentration in plasma, brain neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS or NOS1), HIF-1?, and VEGF expression in different brain regions, i.e., middle prefrontal cortex, somatosensory cortex, nucleus accumbens, and dorsal striatum, using ELISA or Western blot. Additionally, microvascular density in these brain regions was measured using immunofluorescence microscopy. We showed that chronic cocaine significantly affected NOS1, HIF-1? and VEGF expression, in a region- and cocaine treatment-time- dependent manner. Cerebral microvascular density increased significantly in parallel to these neurochemical changes. Furthermore, significant correlations were detected between VEGF expression and microvascular density in cortical regions (middle prefrontal cortex and somatosensory cortex), but not in striatal regions (nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum). These results suggest that following chronic cocaine use, as cerebral ischemia developed, NOS1, the regulatory protein to counteract blood vessel constriction, was upregulated; meanwhile, the HIF-VEGF pathway was activated to increase microvascular density (i.e., angiogenesis) and thus restore local blood flow and oxygen supply. These physiological responses were triggered presumably as an adaptation to minimize ischemic injury caused by cocaine. Therefore, effectively promoting such physiological responses may provide novel and effective therapeutic solutions to treat cocaine-induced cerebral ischemia and stroke.
Project description:The cerebral microvasculature consists of pial vascular networks, parenchymal descending arterioles, ascending venules and parenchymal capillaries. This vascular compartmentalization is vital to precisely deliver blood to balance continuously varying neural demands in multiple brain regions. Optical imaging techniques have facilitated the investigation of dynamic spatial and temporal properties of microvascular functions in real time. Their combination with transgenic animal models encoding specific genetic targets have further strengthened the importance of optical methods for neurovascular research by allowing for the modulation and monitoring of neuro vascular function. Image analysis methods with three-dimensional reconstruction are also helping to understand the complexity of microscopic observations. Here, we review the compartmentalized cerebral microvascular responses to global perturbations as well as regional changes in response to neural activity to highlight the differences in vascular action sites. In addition, microvascular responses elicited by optical modulation of different cell-type targets are summarized with emphasis on variable spatiotemporal dynamics of microvascular responses. Finally, long-term changes in microvascular compartmentalization are discussed to help understand potential relationships between CBF disturbances and the development of neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline.
Project description:RATIONALE:Cocaine administration in rats increases locomotor activity as a result of underlying changes in neurotransmitter dynamics and intracellular signaling. The serine/ threonine phosphatase, calcineurin, is known to modulate several signaling proteins that can influence behavioral responses to cocaine. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to determine whether calcineurin plays a role in locomotor responses associated with acute and repeated cocaine exposure. Second, we examined cocaine-mediated changes in intracellular signaling to identify potential mechanism underlying the ability of calcineurin to influence cocaine-mediated behavior. METHODS:Locomotor activity was assessed over 17 days in male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 48) that received daily administration of cocaine (15 mg/kg, s.c.) or saline in the presence or absence of the calcineurin inhibitor, cyclosporine (15 mg/kg, i.p.). Non-cocaine-treated animals from this initial experiment (n = 24) also received an acute cocaine challenge on day 18 of testing. RESULTS:Daily cyclosporine administration potentiated the locomotor response to repeated cocaine 5 min after cocaine injection and attenuated the sustained locomotor response 15 to 40 min after cocaine. Furthermore, cyclosporine pretreatment for 17 days augmented the acute locomotor response to acute cocaine 5 to 30 min after cocaine injection. Finally, repeated exposure to either cocaine or cyclosporine for 22 days increased synapsin I phosphorylation at the calcineurin-sensitive Ser 62/67 site, demonstrating a common downstream target for both calcineurin and cocaine. CONCLUSION:Our results suggest that calcineurin inhibition augments locomotor responses to cocaine and mimics cocaine-mediated phosphorylation of synapsin I.
Project description:Paradoxical reduction of cerebral blood flow (CBF) after administration of the vasodilator acetazolamide is the most severe stage of cerebrovascular reactivity failure and is often associated with an increased oxygen extraction fraction (OEF). In this study, we aimed to reveal the mechanism underlying this phenomenon by focusing on the ratio of CBF to cerebral blood volume (CBV) as a marker of regional cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP). In 37 patients with unilateral internal carotid or middle cerebral arterial (MCA) steno-occlusive disease and 8 normal controls, the baseline CBF (CBF(b)), CBV, OEF, cerebral oxygen metabolic rate (CMRO2), and CBF after acetazolamide loading in the anterior and posterior MCA territories were measured by (15)O positron emission tomography. Paradoxical CBF reduction was found in 28 of 74 regions (18 of 37 patients) in the ipsilateral hemisphere. High CBF(b) (> 47.6 mL/100 mL/min, n = 7) was associated with normal CBF(b)/CBV, increased CBV, decreased OEF, and normal CMRO2. Low CBF(b) (< 31.8 mL/100 mL/min, n = 9) was associated with decreased CBF(b)/CBV, increased CBV, increased OEF, and decreased CMRO2. These findings demonstrated that paradoxical CBF reduction is not always associated with reduction of CPP, but partly includes high-CBF(b) regions with normal CPP, which has not been described in previous studies.
Project description:Cerebral ischemia has been clearly demonstrated after traumatic brain injury (TBI); however, neuroprotective therapies have not focused on improvement of the cerebral microcirculation. Blood soluble drag-reducing polymers (DRP), prepared from high molecular weight polyethylene oxide, target impaired microvascular perfusion by altering the rheological properties of blood and, until our recent reports, has not been applied to the brain. We hypothesized that DRP improve cerebral microcirculation and oxygenation after TBI. DRP were studied in healthy and traumatized rat brains and compared to saline controls. Using in-vivo two-photon laser scanning microscopy over the parietal cortex, we showed that after TBI, nanomolar concentrations of intravascular DRP significantly enhanced microvascular perfusion and tissue oxygenation in peri-contusional areas, preserved blood-brain barrier integrity and protected neurons. The mechanisms of DRP effects were attributable to reduction of the near-vessel wall cell-free layer which increased near-wall blood flow velocity, microcirculatory volume flow, and number of erythrocytes entering capillaries, thereby reducing capillary stasis and tissue hypoxia as reflected by a reduction in NADH. Our results indicate that early reduction in CBF after TBI is mainly due to ischemia; however, metabolic depression of contused tissue could be also involved.