Low oxygen post conditioning prevents thalamic secondary neuronal loss caused by excitotoxicity after cortical stroke

Giovanni Pietrogrande, Katarzyna Zalewska, Zidan Zhao, Mahmoud Abdolhoseini, Wei Zhen Chow, Sonia Sanchez-Bezanilla, Lin Kooi Ong, Sarah J. Johnson, Michael Nilsson, Frederick R. Walker

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14 Citations (Scopus)


In the current study, we were interested in investigating whether Low oxygen post-conditioning (LOPC) was capable of limiting the severity of stroke-induced secondary neurodegeneration (SND). To investigate the effect of LOPC we exposed adult male C57/BL6 mice to photothrombotic occlusion (PTO) of the motor and somatosensory cortex. This is known to induce progressive neurodegeneration in the thalamus within two weeks of infarction. Two days after PTO induction mice were randomly assigned to one of four groups: (i) LOPC-15 day exposure group; (ii) a LOPC 15 day exposure followed by a 15 day exposure to normal atmosphere; (iii) normal atmosphere for 15 days and (iv) normal atmosphere for 30 days (n = 20/group). We observed that LOPC reduced the extent of neuronal loss, as indicated by assessment of both area of loss and NeuN + cell counts, within the thalamus. Additionally, we identified that LOPC reduced microglial activity and decreased activity within the excitotoxic signalling pathway of the NMDAR axis. Together, these findings suggest that LOPC limits neuronal death caused by excitotoxicity in sites of secondary damage and promotes neuronal survival. In conclusion, this work supports the potential of utilising LOPC to intervene in the sub-acute phase post-stroke to restrict the severity of SND.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4841
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

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