Activation-flow coupling during graded cerebral ischemia

Mark G Burnett, John A Detre, Joel H Greenberg
Brain Research 2005 June 14, 1047 (1): 112-8
Most functional neuroimaging techniques rely on activation-flow coupling (AFC) to detect changes in regional brain function, but AFC responses may also be altered during pathophysiological conditions such as ischemia. To define the relationship between progressive ischemia and the AFC response, graded levels of cerebral blood flow reduction were produced using a rat compression ischemia model, and the cerebral hemodynamic response to forepaw stimulation was measured. Graded levels of cortical ischemia of the somatosensory cortex were induced in male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 16) by compressing the intact dura with a 4-mm-diameter cylinder equipped with a laser-Doppler probe, combined with ipsilateral common carotid artery occlusion. At each level of CBF reduction, electric forepaw stimulation was conducted, and signal-averaged laser Doppler and evoked potential responses were recorded. A visible AFC response was present at all levels of CBF reduction (0-90% reduction from baseline), and the temporal characteristics of the response appeared largely preserved. However, the amplitude of the AFC response began to decline at levels of mild ischemia (10% flow reduction) and progressively decreased with further CBF reduction. The amplitude of the evoked response appeared to decrease in concert with the AFC amplitude and appeared to be equally sensitive to ischemia. AFC appears to be a sensitive marker for cerebral ischemia, and alterations in the AFC response occur at CBF reductions above the accepted thresholds for infarction. However, the AFC response is also preserved when flow is reduced below ischemic thresholds.


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