Retention of Cerebrovascular Dilation After Cortical Spreading Depression in Anesthetized Rabbits

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Background and Purpose

We examined responses of rabbit pial arterioles to three different stimuli before and after induction of cortical spreading depression.


In urethane-anesthetized rabbits equipped with a closed cranial window, we measured pial arteriolar diameter during baseline conditions, topical application of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), topical application of acetylcholine, and inhalation of 10% CO2 in air (arterial hypercapnia) before cortical spreading depression and 30, 60, and 120 minutes after cortical spreading depression. Cortical spreading depression was induced by localized application of a 5% KCI solution anterior to the arteriole being measured.


Average baseline diameter was approximately 90 μm. During cortical spreading depression, arteriolar diameter increased to a peak value that was 50 ± 4% above baseline (n=32). Before cortical spreading depression, arteriolar diameter changed 47 ± 7% (n=9) during hypercapnia, 17 ± 3% (n=4) during 10−9 mol/L CGRP, 42 ± 10% (n=7) during 10−7 mol/L CGRP, 29 ± 6% (n=4) during 10−6 mol/L acetylcholine, and 61 ± 13% (n=6) during 10−4 mol/L acetylcholine. Arteriolar responsiveness to any of these stimuli was not changed significantly by prior cortical spreading depression.


Dilator capacity of pial arterioles is still intact in urethane-anesthetized rabbits after cortical spreading depression. (Stroke. 1993;24:1740-1745.)

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