Background & Aims: Remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) could induce brain protection in cerebral ischemia. The conditioning can be divided into pre-, per- and post-conditioning. The aim of this study is to clarify which RIC is the most effective in murine focal ischemia.
Methods: Adult male C57BL/6 mice were used in this study. Transient focal cerebral ischemia was produced with nylon-suture model by occluding middle cerebral artery (MCAO) for 45 minutes. Cortical cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was continuously measured during ischemia with laser Doppler flowmeter. Twenty-four hours after MCAO, the animals were sacrificed and their brains were removed. After cutting coronal 1-mm brain sections, infarct volume was measured after TTC staining. Fifty mice were divided into five groups (each n=10); sham RIC group, delayed preRIC group (RIC 24 hours before MCAO), early preRIC group (RIC 5 minutes before MCAO), perRIC group (RIC during MCAO), and postRIC group (RIC 5 minutes after MCAO). Hind limb ischemia was induced by making the snare as tight as possible using a hemostatic forceps for 5 minutes followed by loosening it for 5 minutes. Four cycles were performed as RIC.
Results: Infarct volume were 58.8±10.1 mm3 in sham RIC, 54.8±19.4 mm3 in delayed preRIC, 69.3±10.8 mm3 in early preRIC, 38.0±22.1 mm3 in perRIC, and 64.5±13.5 mm3 in postRIC groups. Infarct volume in perRIC was significantly smaller than that in sham RIC and other groups (P<0.01). However, infarct volume of other RIC groups was not different with sham RIC group. After MCAO, rCBF reduced to 15.6% of baseline level in sham RIC, 11.2% in delayed preRIC, 11.9% in early preRIC, 13.4% in perRIC, and 10.8% in postRIC group. No difference was found in residual rCBF among all groups. At the end of MCAO, rCBF compared to rCBF immediate after occlusion was 102±21% in sham RIC, 112±25% in delayed preRIC, 98±22% in early preRIC, 131±33% in perRIC and 105±19% postRIC groups. Relative rCBF change at the end of MCAO in perRIC was significantly more than that in sham RIC group (P<0.05).
Conclusions: Among four RIC procedures, only perRIC showed clear brain protection against transient MCAO. Change during rCBF may suggest that enhancement of collateral circulation play a role in part on brain protective effect of perRIC.