Infant Brain Stem Is Prone to the Generation of Spreading Depression During Severe Hypoxia

Frank Funke, Miriam Kron, Mathias Dutschmann, Michael Müller
2009 Journal of Neurophysiology  
Funke F, Kron M, Dutschmann M, Mü ller M. Infant brain stem is prone to the generation of spreading depression during severe hypoxia. . Spreading depression (SD) resembles a concerted, massive neuronal/glial depolarization propagating within the gray matter. Being associated with cerebropathology, such as cerebral ischemia or hemorrhage, epileptic seizures, and migraine, it is well studied in cortex and hippocampus. We have now analyzed the susceptibility of rat brain stem to hypoxia-induced
more » ... eading depression-like depolarization (HSD), which could critically interfere with cardiorespiratory control. In rat brain stem slices, severe hypoxia (oxygen withdrawal) triggered HSD within minutes. The sudden extracellular DC potential shift of approximately Ϫ20 mV showed the typical profile known from other brain regions and was accompanied by an intrinsic optical signal (IOS). Spatiotemporal IOS analysis revealed that in infant brain stem, HSD was preferably ignited within the spinal trigeminal nucleus and then mostly spread out medially, invading the hypoglossal nucleus, the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), and the ventral respiratory group (VRG). The neuronal hypoxic depolarizations underlying the generation of HSD were massive, but incomplete. The propagation velocity of HSD and the associated extracellular K ϩ rise were also less marked than in other brain regions. In adult brain stem, HSD was mostly confined to the NTS and its occurrence was facilitated by hypotonic solutions, but not by glial poisoning or block of GABAergic and glycinergic synapses. In conclusion, brain stem tissue reliably generates propagating HSD episodes, which may be of interest for basilar-type migraine and brain stem infarcts. The preferred occurrence of HSD in the infant brain stem and its propagation into the VRG may be of importance for neonatal brain stem pathology such as sudden infant death syndrome.
doi:10.1152/jn.91260.2008 pmid:19261708 fatcat:d625hgozmvhczg4qwwdrxmshnm