Cerebral lactate, pyruvate and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and acid-base balance were measured in male and female spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) before, and 1, 3 and 5 hours after bilateral carotid occlusion.
In male SHR, cerebral lactate and the lactate/pyruvate (L/P) ratio progressively increased after occlusion, while cerebral ATP decreased. In female SHR, an increase in lactate and the L/P ratio was less marked than in male SHR. Cerebral ATP remained unchanged 5 hours after occlusion. These data suggest that bilateral carotid artery occlusion may cause more pronounced ischemic changes in the brain in male SHR than in female SHR, resulting in a greater increase in lactate with a concomitant decrease in ATP in male SHR. Results suggest that female SHR are more resistant to cerebral ischemia following bilateral carotid occlusion than male SHR. Blood pressure and gonads in the susceptibility to cerebral ischemia are discussed.