Time-course of neuropeptide changes in peri-ischemic zone and amygdala following focal ischemia in rats.

Research paper by R T RT Cheung, T T Diab, D F DF Cechetto

Indexed on: 11 Sep '95Published on: 11 Sep '95Published in: Journal of Comparative Neurology


Previously, using a middle cerebral artery occlusion model in Wistar rat, we showed autonomic disturbances similar to those seen clinically and observed striking neurochemical changes in cortical and subcortical sites at 5 days following stroke. The neurochemical changes may account for functional recovery and/or autonomic disturbances after focal ischemia. To understand the possible mechanisms and to facilitate future studies, it is necessary to define the time-courses of these changes. Using immunohistochemical staining with the peroxidase-antiperoxidase reaction, the changes in several neuropeptides over the peri-ischemic region and the ipsilateral central and basolateral nucleus of the amygdala were investigated at different times after middle cerebral artery occlusion. In the experimental group, neuropeptide Y immunoreactivity appeared to increase by 6 hours in the peri-ischemic region. Using image analysis to quantify the staining intensity, the change became statistically significant at 1 day, peaked around 3 days, and subsided at 10 days. There was a delayed increase in neuropeptide Y in the ipsilateral basolateral nucleus of the amygdala with a peak around 3 days. Immunoreactive staining for leucine-enkephalin, dynorphin, and neurotensin demonstrated an increase that was localized to the ipsilateral central nucleus of the amygdala with a peak around 3 days and a return to baseline levels by 10 days. The results support a specific time-course for each of the neuropeptides studied and indicate that a survival time of 3 days after focal ischemia is the critical period for examining the relationship between neuropeptide responses and neuronal or functional recovery.