Caecal ligation and puncture induced sepsis in the rat results in increased brain water content and perimicrovessel oedema
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To investigate brain water content and ultrastructure in a rat caecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model of sepsis, adult male Wistar rats were assigned to one of the following experimental groups: CLP, Un-operated or Sham. CLP was performed under anaesthesia, Sham rats were exposed to anaesthesia, laparotomy and caecal mobilisation and Un-operated rats did not experience anaesthesia or surgery. CLP and Sham rats were sacrificed 18–20 h following recovery from surgery and Un-operated rats were sacrificed at the same time. Frontal cortex samples (CLP n = 9; Un-operated n = 10; Sham n = 8) were taken immediately post mortem and their water content determined using gravimetry. Similar samples were taken from other rats (CLP n = 8; Un-operated n = 8; Sham n = 8), processed for electron microscopy and subjected to morphometric analysis. There was significantly more brain water in CLP than Un-operated (P < 0.01) and Sham (P < 0.05) rats. Electron microscopy revealed significantly more peri-microvessel oedema in CLP than Un-operated (P < 0.001) and Sham rats (P < 0.05). Microvessel endothelial cell lumen cross-sectional area was significantly smaller in CLP than Un-operated (P < 0.001) and Sham (P < 0.05) rats and microvessel endothelial cell cross-sectional area was significantly smaller in CLP than Un-operated (P < 0.05) rats. Significantly more endothelial cell cytoplasmic area was occupied by mitochondria in CLP than Un-operated (P < 0.05) and Sham (P < 0.05) rats. However, experimental group did not affect the number of mitochondria present in endothelial cell profiles, or their cross-sectional area. Therefore, sepsis-induced cerebral oedema involves an increase in and a redistribution of brain water, together with ultrastructural changes to cerebral microvessels and adjacent tissue.
KeywordsEncephalopathy Endothelial cell Electron microscopy Gravimetry
H. F. Brooks was supported by an Anatomical Society post-graduate studentship.
Conflict of Interest
The authors do not have any conflict of interest.
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