Subarachnoid hemolysate produces DNA fragmentation in a pattern similar to apoptosis in mouse brain

Paul G. Matz, Miki Fujimura, Pak H. Chan

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77 Citations (Scopus)


Stroke and traumatic brain/spinal cord injuries are often associated with hemorrhage. Despite the relative frequency of hemorrhage in the central nervous system (CNS), little is known about what role blood and hemoglobin (Hb) play in mediating cellular injury. Since Hb and hemolysate have been associated with generation of oxidative stress and cell injury, we examined whether apoptosis was present after cortical exposure to subarachnoid hemolysate. Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) was induced in CD-1 mice (n=25) by injection of 50 μl of autologous hemolysate over the right parietal cortex. Saline-injected mice (n=13) were used as controls. Subjects were sacrificed at 24 h. Transcardiac perfusion fixation was performed on a subgroup of hemolysate- (n=15) and saline-injected (n=9) animals. Sections were stained for DNA fragmentation using the terminal deoxyuridine nick end-labeling (TUNEL) method and also immunostained for the hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) protein to assess blood distribution. In the remaining animals (n=6 SAH, n=4 saline), DNA was extracted and precipitated from 40 mg of tissue and subjected to electrophoresis on a 1.5% agarose gel. DNA fragmentation was evident on TUNEL staining in 10/15 subjects injected with hemolysate as compared to 0/9 subjects injected with saline (p<0.01, Fisher exact test). TUNEL-positive cells were most abundant closest to the site of cortical SAH, as evidenced by HO-1 immunoreactivity. TUNEL-positive cells were also seen remotely in the hippocampus and basal forebrain. The presence of apoptosis was suggested by DNA laddering on electrophoresis in the hemolysate-injected subjects (4/6 animals). No laddering was evident in saline-injected subjects (n=4). These results provide evidence that the presence of subarachnoid blood products is associated with DNA fragmentation and apoptotic cell death. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-319
Number of pages8
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Mar 10


  • Apoptosis
  • Hemoglobin
  • Oxidative injury
  • Stroke
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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