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Scavenging Free Iron Reduces Arteriolar Microvasospasms After Experimental Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.

Stroke. 2021 Nov 9:STROKEAHA120033472. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.033472. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34749506.

Authors/Editors: Liu H, Schwarting J, Terpolilli NA, Nehrkorn K, Plesnila N.
Publication Date: 2021


Background and Purpose:
Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is associated with acute and delayed cerebral ischemia resulting in high acute mortality and severe chronic neurological deficits. Spasms of the pial and intraparenchymal microcirculation (microvasospasms) contribute to acute cerebral ischemia after SAH; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. We hypothesize that free iron (Fe3+) released from hemolytic red blood cells into the subarachnoid space may be involved in microvasospasms formation.

Male C57BL/6 mice (n=8/group) received 200 mg/kg of the iron scavenger deferoxamine or vehicle intravenously and were then subjected to SAH by filament perforation. Microvasospasms of pial and intraparenchymal vessels were imaged three hours after SAH by in vivo 2-photon microscopy.

Microvasospasms occurred in all investigated vessel categories down to the capillary level. Deferoxamine significantly reduced the number of microvasospasms after experimental SAH. The effect was almost exclusively observed in larger pial arterioles (>30 µm) covered with blood.

These results provide proof-of-principle evidence that Fe3+ is involved in the formation of arteriolar microvasospasms after SAH and that arteriolar and capillary microvasospasms are triggered by different mechanisms. Deciphering the mechanisms of Fe3+-induced microvasospasms may result in novel therapeutic strategies for SAH patients.

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