George E. Brown memorial lecture. Oxygen radicals in cerebral vascular injury.
Acute, severe increases in arterial blood pressure cause sustained cerebral arteriolar dilation, abnormal reactivity to carbon dioxide and to changes in blood pressure, abolition of endothelium-dependent dilation from acetylcholine, discrete morphological lesions of the endothelium and vascular smooth muscle, and breakdown of the blood-brain barrier to plasma proteins. The dilation, abnormal reactivity, and morphological abnormalities are inhibited by pretreatment with cyclooxygenase inhibitors or with free radical scavengers. Superoxide dismutase-inhibitable reduction of nitroblue tetrazolium applied to the brain surface was detectable both during hypertension and one hour after hypertension subsided. Nitroblue tetrazolium reduction is also reduced by inhibitors of the anion channel. The abnormalities seen after hypertension are reproduced by topical application of arachidonate. The results are consistent with the view that acute hypertension induces generation of superoxide anion radical in association with accelerated arachidonate metabolism via cyclooxygenase. This radical enters cerebral extracellular space via the anion channel and gives rise to hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radical. All three radicals are capable of causing vasodilation by relaxation of cerebral vascular smooth muscle. The hydroxyl radical is the most likely candidate for vascular wall damage. The significance of this mechanism in chronic experimental hypertension or its relevance to human disease is not known.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association