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      Early outcome and blood-brain barrier integrity after co-administered thrombolysis and hyperbaric oxygenation in experimental stroke

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          After promising results in experimental stroke, normobaric (NBO) or hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) have recently been discussed as co-medication with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for improving outcome. This study assessed the interactions of hyperoxia and tPA, focusing on survival, early functional outcome and blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity following experimental stroke.


          Rats (n = 109) underwent embolic middle cerebral artery occlusion or sham surgery. Animals were assigned to: Control, NBO (60-minute pure oxygen), HBO (60-minute pure oxygen at 2.4 absolute atmospheres), tPA, or HBO+tPA. Functional impairment was assessed at 4 and 24 hours using Menzies score, followed by intravenous application of FITC-albumin as a BBB permeability marker, which was allowed to circulate for 1 hour. Further, blood sampling was performed at 5 and 25 hours for MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 concentration.


          Mortality rates did not differ significantly between groups, whereas functional improvement was found for NBO, tPA and HBO+tPA. NBO and HBO tended to stabilize BBB and to reduce MMP-2. tPA tended to increase BBB permeability with corresponding MMP and TIMP elevation. Co-administered HBO failed to attenuate these early deleterious effects, independent of functional improvement.


          The long-term consequences of simultaneously applied tPA and both NBO and HBO need to be addressed by further studies to identify therapeutic potencies in acute stroke, and to avoid unfavorable courses following combined treatment.

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          Most cited references 36

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          Role of matrix metalloproteinases in delayed cortical responses after stroke.

          Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-endopeptidases with multifactorial actions in central nervous system (CNS) physiology and pathology. Accumulating data suggest that MMPs have a deleterious role in stroke. By degrading neurovascular matrix, MMPs promote injury of the blood-brain barrier, edema and hemorrhage. By disrupting cell-matrix signaling and homeostasis, MMPs trigger brain cell death. Hence, there is a movement toward the development of MMP inhibitors for acute stroke therapy. But MMPs may have a different role during delayed phases after stroke. Because MMPs modulate brain matrix, they may mediate beneficial plasticity and remodeling during stroke recovery. Here, we show that MMPs participate in delayed cortical responses after focal cerebral ischemia in rats. MMP-9 is upregulated in peri-infarct cortex at 7-14 days after stroke and is colocalized with markers of neurovascular remodeling. Treatment with MMP inhibitors at 7 days after stroke suppresses neurovascular remodeling, increases ischemic brain injury and impairs functional recovery at 14 days. MMP processing of bioavailable VEGF may be involved because inhibition of MMPs reduces endogenous VEGF signals, whereas additional treatment with exogenous VEGF prevents MMP inhibitor-induced worsening of infarction. These data suggest that, contrary to MMP inhibitor therapies for acute stroke, strategies that modulate MMPs may be needed for promoting stroke recovery.
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            Diverse roles of matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases in neuroinflammation and cerebral ischemia.

            Regulation of the extracellular matrix by proteases and protease inhibitors is a fundamental biological process for normal growth, development and repair in the CNS. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are the major extracellular-degrading enzymes. Two other enzyme families, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM), and the serine proteases, plasminogen/plasminogen activator (P/PA) system, are also involved in extracellular matrix degradation. Normally, the highly integrated action of these enzyme families remodels all of the components of the matrix and performs essential functions at the cell surface involved in signaling, cell survival, and cell death. During the inflammatory response induced in infection, autoimmune reactions and hypoxia/ischemia, abnormal expression and activation of these proteases lead to breakdown of the extracellular matrix, resulting in the opening of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), preventing normal cell signaling, and eventually leading to cell death. There are several key MMPs and ADAMs that have been implicated in neuroinflammation: gelatinases A and B (MMP-2 and -9), stromelysin-1 (MMP-3), membrane-type MMP (MT1-MMP or MMP-14), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha converting enzyme (TACE). In addition, TIMP-3, which is bound to the cell surface, promotes cell death and impedes angiogenesis. Inhibitors of metalloproteinases are available, but balancing the beneficial and detrimental effects of these agents remains a challenge.
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              Quantitative evaluation of blood-brain barrier permeability following middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats.

              A sensitive quantitative fluorescence method was used to explore the time course and regional pattern of blood-brain barrier (BBB) opening after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized with halothane and subjected to 2 h of temporary MCAo by retrograde insertion of an intraluminal nylon suture, coated with poly-L-lysine, through the external carotid artery into the internal carotid artery and MCA. Damage to the BBB was judged by extravasation of Evans Blue (EB) dye, which was administered either 2, 3, 24 or 48 h after onset of MCAo. Fluorometric quantitation of EB was performed 1 or 2 h later in six brain regions. Cerebral infarction volumes were quantitated from histopathological material at 72 h. EB extravasation first became grossly visible in the ipsilateral caudoputamen and neocortex following 3 h of MCAo, was grossly unapparent at 24-26 h, and was maximal at 48-50 h. Fluorescence quantitation confirmed that BBB opening was absent at 2-3 h but present at all later times. In the hemisphere ipsilateral to MCAo, a 179% mean increase in extravasation of EB (compared to sham rats) was measured at 4 h, 407% at 5 h, 311% at 26 h and 264% at 50 h. (in each case, P < 0.05 vs. sham). The volume of infarcted tissue at 72 h in this model was 163.6 +/- 7.7 mm3. Our results indicate that an initial, acute disruption of the BBB occurs between 3 and 5 h following MCAo, and that a later, more widespread increase in regional BBB permeability is present at 48 h. Regional measurement of Evans Blue extravasation offers a precise means of quantitating BBB disruption in focal cerebral ischemia; this method will be of considerable utility in assessing the BBB-protective properties of pharmacological agents.

                Author and article information

                Exp Transl Stroke Med
                Experimental & Translational Stroke Medicine
                BioMed Central
                16 June 2011
                : 3
                : 5
                [1 ]Department of Neurology, University of Leipzig, Liebigstr. 20, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
                [2 ]Paul Flechsig Institute for Brain Research, University of Leipzig, Jahnallee 59, 04109 Leipzig, Germany
                [3 ]Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 43, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
                [4 ]Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Perlickstr. 1, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
                [5 ]Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Leipzig, Philipp-Rosenthal-Str. 55, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
                [6 ]Institute of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, University of Leipzig, Johannisallee 30, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
                Copyright ©2011 Michalski et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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