Research Article| Volume 26, ISSUE 12, P2994-3003, December 2017

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Superior Microvascular Perfusion of Infused Liposome-Encapsulated Hemoglobin Prior to Reductions in Infarctions after Transient Focal Cerebral Ischemia


      The development of cerebral infarction after transient ischemia is attributed to postischemic delayed hypoperfusion in the microvascular region. In the present study, we assessed the microvascular perfusion capacity of infused liposome-encapsulated hemoglobin (LEH) in a therapeutic approach for transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO).


      Two-hour middle cerebral artery occlusion rats were immediately subjected to intra-arterial infusion of LEH (LEH group) or saline (vehicle group) or no treatment (control group), and then to recanalization. Neurological findings, infarct and edema progression, microvascular endothelial dysfunction, and inflammatory reactions were compared between the 3 groups after 24 hours of reperfusion. Microvascular perfusion in the early phase of reperfusion was evaluated by hemoglobin immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy.


      The LEH group achieved significantly better results in all items evaluated than the other groups. Hemoglobin immunohistochemistry revealed that the number of hemoglobin-positive microvessels was significantly greater in the LEH group than in the other groups (P < .01), with microvascular perfusion being more likely in narrow microvessels (≤5 µm in diameter). An electron microscopic examination revealed that microvessels in the control group were compressed and narrowed by swollen astrocyte end-feet, whereas those in the LEH group had a less deformed appearance and contained LEH particles and erythrocytes.


      The results of the present study demonstrated that the infusion of LEH reduced infarctions after tMCAO with more hemoglobin-positive and less deformed microvessels at the early phase of reperfusion, suggesting that the superiority of the microvascular perfusion of LEH mediates its neuroprotective effects.

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