Age or ischemia uncouples the blood flow response, tissue acidosis, and direct current potential signature of spreading depolarization in the rat brain

Ákos Menyhárt, Dániel Zölei-Szénási, Tamás Puskás, Péter Makra, Ferenc Bari, Eszter Farkas

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Spreading depolarization (SD) events contribute to lesion maturation in the acutely injured human brain. Neurodegeneration related to SD is thought to be caused by the insufficiency of the cerebral blood flow (CBF) response; yet the mediators of the CBF response, or their deficiency in the aged or ischemic cerebral cortex, remain the target of intensive research. Here, we postulated that tissue pH effectively modulates the magnitude of hyperemia in response to SD, the coupling of which is prone to be dysfunctional in the aged or ischemic cerebral cortex. To test this hypothesis, we conducted systematic correlation analysis between the direct current (DC) potential signature of SD, SD-associated tissue acidosis, and hyperemic element of the CBF response in the isoflurane-anesthetized, young or old, and intact or ischemic rat cerebral cortex. The data demonstrate that the amplitude of the SD-related DC potential shift, tissue acidosis, and hyperemia are tightly coupled in the young intact cortex; ischemia and old age uncouples the amplitude of hyperemia from the amplitude of the DC potential shift and acidosis; the duration of the DC potential shift, hyperemia and acidosis positively correlate under ischemia alone; and old age disproportionally elongates the duration of acidosis with respect to the DC potential shift and hyperemia under ischemia. The coincidence of the variables supports the view that local CBF regulation with SD must have an effective metabolic component, which becomes dysfunctional with age or under ischemia. Finally, the known age-related acceleration of ischemic neurodegeneration may be promoted by exaggerated tissue acidosis. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The hyperemic element of the cerebral blood flow response to spreading depolarization is effectively modulated by tissue pH in the young intact rat cerebral cortex. This coupling becomes dysfunctional with age or under ischemia, and tissue acidosis lasts disproportionally longer in the aged cortex, making the tissue increasingly more vulnerable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H328-H337
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 11 2017



  • Aging
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Metabolic coupling
  • Spreading depolarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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