Layer-specific differences in reactive oxygen species levels after oxygen–glucose deprivation in acute hippocampal slices

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The major role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the pathomechanism of ischemia have been widely recognized. Still, measurements of the precise time course and regional distribution of ischemia-induced ROS level changes in acute brain slices have been missing. By using acute hippocampal slices and the fluorescent dye CM-H2DCFDA, we showed that reoxygenation after in vitro ischemia (oxygen–glucose deprivation; OGD) increased ROS levels in the hippocampal CA1 layers vulnerable to ischemia but did not have significant effects in the resistant stratum granulosum in the dentate gyrus (DG). Production of ROS started during OGD, but, contrary to reoxygenation, it manifested as a ROS level increase exclusively in the presence of catalase and glutathione peroxidase inhibition. The mechanism of ROS production involves the activation of NMDA receptors and nitric oxide synthases. The inhibition of ROS response by either AP-5 or L-NAME together with the ROS sensitivity profile of the dye suggest that peroxynitrite, the reaction product of superoxide and nitric oxide, plays a role in the response. Direct visualization of layer-specific effects of ROS production and its scavenging, shown for the first time in acute hippocampal slices, suggests that distinct ROS homeostasis may underlie the different ischemic vulnerability of CA1 and DG.

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