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Role of endothelial nitric oxide synthase for early brain injury after subarachnoid hemorrhage in mice.

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2020 Nov 30:271678X20973787. doi: 10.1177/0271678X20973787. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33256507.

Authors/Editors: Lenz IJ, Plesnila N, Terpolilli NA.
Publication Date: 2020



The first few hours and days after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) are characterized by cerebral ischemia, spasms of pial arterioles, and a significant reduction of cerebral microperfusion, however, the mechanisms of this early microcirculatory dysfunction are still unknown. Endothelial nitric oxide production is reduced after SAH and exogenous application of NO reduces post-hemorrhagic microvasospasm. Therefore, we hypothesize that the endothelial NO-synthase (eNOS) may be involved in the formation of microvasospasms, microcirculatory dysfunction, and unfavorable outcome after SAH. SAH was induced in male eNOS deficient (eNOS–/–) mice by endovascular MCA perforation. Three hours later, the cerebral microcirculation was visualized using in vivo 2-photon-microscopy. eNOS–/– mice had more severe SAHs, more severe ischemia, three time more rebleedings, and a massively increased mortality (50 vs. 0%) as compared to wild type (WT) littermate controls. Three hours after SAH eNOS–/– mice had fewer perfused microvessels and 40% more microvasospasms than WT mice. The current study indicates that a proper function of eNOS plays a key role for a favorable outcome after SAH and helps to explain why patients suffering from hypertension or other conditions associated with impaired eNOS function, have a higher risk of unfavorable outcome after SAH.

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