Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 76, Issue 4, pp 388–394 | Cite as

Relationship between putrescine content and density of ischemic cell damage in the brain of mongolian gerbils: effect of nimodipine and barbiturate

  • W. Paschen
  • J. Hallmayer
  • G. Röhn
Regular Papers


Twenty mongolian gerbils were anesthetized (1.5% halothane) and severe forebrain ischemia was produced in 15 animals by occluding both common carotid arteries. After 5 min ischemia brains were recirculated spontaneously. Immediately after ischemia nimodipine (1.5 mg/kg) or pentobarbital (50 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally into five animals. Four days later animals were reanesthetized (1.5% halothane); the brains were frozen with liquid nitrogen and cut in a cryostat. Ten-micrometer-thick coronal cryostat sections were stained with cresyl violet to assess the extent of ischemic cell damage in the lateral striatum, the CA1-layer of the hippocampus, and the thalamus. In addition, tissue samples (about 4 mg each) were taken from the lateral striatum, CA1 layer of the hippocampus and the thalamus. Putrescine levels were measured in these samples using reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography and fluorescence detection. Reversible cerebral ischemia produced a significant increase in putrescine in the lateral striatum (from 11.15±0.79 to 44.83±11.76 nmol/g,P≤0.05), the CA1 subfield of the hippocampus (from 11.27±0.64 to 41.80±3.62 nmol/g,P≤0.05) and less so in the thalamus (from 11.28±0.70 to 16.50±1.71 nmol/g). Both postischemic nimodipine and barbiturate treatment of animals markedly reduced this increase in the lateral striatum to 14.09±1.41 and 15.75±1.38 nmol/g, respectively (P≤0.05 cf. untreated animals), to 29.82±6.04 and 23.21±3.12 nmol/g in the CA1-subfield of the hippocampus (P≤0.05 barbiturate-treated cf. untreated animals), and to 11.92±1.37 and 11.76±0.64 in the thalamus (P<0.05 barbiturate-treated cf. untreated animals). Severe neuronal necroses were apparent in the lateral striatum in four out of five animals but in none of the nimodipine- or barbiturate-treated animals. In the CA1 subfield of the hippocampus the number of necrotic cells/mm stratum pyramidale amounted to 202.1±9.8, 141.9±4.2 and 78.0±33.4 in untreated, nimodipine- or barbiturate-treated animals, respectively (P≤0.05 barbiturate-treated cf. control animals). It is suggested that putrescine, produced during recirculation following ischemia, contributes to the manifestation of ischemic cell injury. Putrescine may thus be taken as a significant biochemical correlate of ischemic cell damage.

Key words

Barbiturate Ischemic cell necrosis Mongolian gerbil Nimodipine Putrescine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Paschen
    • 1
  • J. Hallmayer
    • 1
  • G. Röhn
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung für Experimentelle NeurologieMax-Planck-Institut für Neurologische ForschungKöln 91Federal Republic of Germany

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