Mitochondrial respiratory function and cell death in focal cerebral ischemia

Michelle F. Anderson, Neil R. Sims

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    73 Citations (Scopus)


    Pyruvate-supported oxygen uptake was determined as a measure of the functional capacity of mitochondria obtained from rat brain during unilateral middle cerebral artery occlusion and reperfusion. During ischemia, substantial reductions developed in both ADP-stimulated and uncoupled respiration in tissue from the focus of the affected area in the striatum and cortex. A similar pattern of change but with lesser reductions was seen in the adjacent perifocal tissue. Succinate-supported respiration was more affected than that with pyruvate in perifocal tissue at 2 h of ischemia, suggesting additional alterations to mitochondrial components in this tissue. Mitochondrial respiratory activity recovered fully in samples from the cortex, but not the striatum, within the first hour of reperfusion following 2 h of ischemia and remained similar to control values at 3 h of reperfusion. In contrast, impairment of the functional capacity of mitochondria from all three regions was seen in the first 3 h of reperfusion following 3 h of ischemia. Extensive infarction generally affecting the cortical focal tissue with more variable involvement of the perifocal tissue developed following 2 h of focal ischemia. Thus, mitochondrial impairment during the first 3 h of reperfusion was apparently not essential for tissue infarction to develop. Nonetheless, the observed mitochondrial changes could contribute to the damage produced by permanent focal ischemia as well as the larger infarcts produced when reperfusion was initiated following 3 h of ischemia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1189-1199
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999


    • Cell death
    • Focal ischemia
    • Infarction
    • Mitochondria
    • Respiration


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