Energy metabolism and selective neuronal vulnerability following global cerebral ischemia

Neil R. Sims

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    42 Citations (Scopus)


    A short period of global ischemia results in the death of selected subpopulations of neurons. Some advances have been made in understanding events which might contribute to the selectivity of this damage but the cellular changes which culminate in neuronal death remain poorly defined. This overview examines the metabolic state of tissue in the post-ischemic period and the relationship of changes to the development of damage in areas containing ischemia-susceptible neurons. During early recirculation there is substantial recovery of ATP, phosphocreatine and related metabolites in all brain regions. However, this recovery does not signal restitution of normal energy metabolism as reductions of the oxidative metabolism of glucose are seen in many areas and may persist for several days. Furthermore, decreases in pyruvate-supported respiration develop in mitochondria from at least one ischemia-susceptible region at times coincident with the earliest histological evidence of ischemia-induced degeneration. These mitochondrial changes could simply be an early marker of irreversible damage but the available evidence is equally consistent with these contributing to the degenerative process and offering a potential site for therapeutic intervention.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)923-931
    Number of pages9
    JournalNeurochemical Research
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 1992

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2007 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


    • energy metabolism
    • glucose metabolism
    • Ischemia
    • mitochondria
    • neuronal degeneration


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