OBJECTIVE Cerebral hyperperfusion (CHP) is associated with considerable morbidity. Its pathophysiology involves disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) with subsequent events such as vasogenic brain edema and ischemic and/or hemorrhagic complications. Researchers are trying to mimic the condition of CHP; however, a proper animal model is still lacking. In this paper the authors report a novel surgically induced CHP model that mimics the reported pathophysiology of clinical CHP including BBB breakdown, white matter (WM) injury, inflammation, and cognitive impairment. METHODS Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to unilateral common carotid artery (CCA) occlusion and contralateral CCA stenosis. Three days after the initial surgery, the stenosis of CCA was released to induce CHP. Cortical regional cerebral blood flow was measured using laser speckle flowmetry. BBB breakdown was assessed by Evans blue dye extravasation and matrix metalloproteinase-9 levels. WM injury was investigated with Luxol fast blue staining. Cognitive function was assessed using the Barnes circular maze. Other changes pertaining to inflammation were also assessed. Sham-operated animals were prepared and used as controls. RESULTS Cerebral blood flow was significantly raised in the cerebral cortex after CHP induction. CHP induced BBB breakdown evident by Evans blue dye extravasation, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 was identified as a possible culprit. WM degeneration was evident in the corpus callosum and corpus striatum. Immunohistochemistry revealed macrophage activation and glial cell upregulation as an inflammatory response to CHP in the striatum and cerebral cortex. CHP also caused significant impairments in spatial learning and memory compared with the sham-operated animals. CONCLUSIONS The authors report a novel CHP model in rats that represents the pathophysiology of CHP observed in various clinical scenarios. This model was produced without the use of pharmacological agents; therefore, it is ideal to study the pathology of CHP as well as to perform preclinical drug trials.
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