The effects of mild hypothermia on the apparent diffusion coefficient of water (ADC) and expression of c-fos and hsp70 mRNA were examined during acute focal cerebral ischemia. Young adult rats were subjected to 60-min middle cerebral artery occlusion under either normothermia (37.5°C) or hypothermia (33°C). Diffusion-weighted echo-planar magnetic resonance imaging was used to monitor changes in ADC throughout the ischemic period. Perfusion MRI with dysprosium contrast was used at the end of the ischemic period to verify that the occlusion was successful. C-fos and hsp70 mRNA expression were examined with in situ hybridization at the end of the ischemic period. The results indicate that the size of the region that exhibited reduced ADC was smaller during hypothermia than during normothermia. Hypothermia also decreased the frequency of occurrence of transient ADC reductions, especially in dorsal aspects of cortex. Expression of both c-fos and hsp70 mRNA were markedly reduced by hypothermia. Transient ADC reduction and c-fos expression are associated with spreading depression, which is believed to contribute to lesion expansion during acute focal ischemia. The results suggest that part of the neuroprotective effect of hypothermia may be due to a reduced incidence of spreading depression.
- Apparent diffusion coefficient
- Diffusion MRI
- Focal cerebral ischemia
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