Background: Increases in hydroxyl radical production have been used as evidence of oxidative stress in cerebral ischemia/ reperfusion. Ischemia can also induce increased dopamine release from the striatum that may contribute to hydroxyl radical formation. We have compared hydroxyl radical production in the cortex and striatum as an index of oxidative stress in a rat model of focal cerebral ischemia with cortical infarction.
Methods: Using a three vessel occlusion model of focal cerebral ischemia combined with bilateral microdialysis, hydroxylation of 4-hydroxybenzoate (4HB) was continuously monitored in both hemispheres in either the lateral striatum or frontoparietal cortex. The ischemia protocol consisted of one hour equilibration, 30 min of three vessel occlusion, then release of the contralateral common carotid artery (CCA) for 2.5 h.
Results: Induction of ischemia resulted in a 30-fold increase in dopamine release in the lateral striatum. Compared to the nonischemic striatum, the ratio of the hydroxylation product 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate (34DHB) to 4HB (trapping agent) in the ipsilateral striatum increased significantly 30 min after ischemia induction. In contrast, during the 30 min of three vessel occlusion there was no increase in the ratio in the cortex. Following the release of the contralateral CCA, the ratio from the ischemic cortex increased significantly compared to sham-operated animals. However, under all circumstances, the 34DHB/4HB ratio was greater in the striatum than in the cortex.
Conclusion: The increase in the 34DHB/4HB ratio in the lateral striatum coincides with the increased dopamine release suggesting a role for dopamine oxidation in the increased production of hydroxyl radicals. The significant increase in the ratio from the ischemic cortex compared to that from the sham-operated animals is consistent with increased oxidative stress induced by ischemia. However, the lower 34DHB/4HB ratio in the cortex which does not receive dopaminergic innervation compared to the striatum suggests a different mechanism for hydroxyl radical production. Such an alternate mechanism may represent a more toxic oxidative insult that contributes to infarction.