Plasma infused into porcine cerebral white matter induces both acute interstitial and delayed vasogenic edema. Edematous white matter contains extracellular plasma proteins and rapidly induces oxidative stress as evidenced by increased protein carbonyl formation and heme oxygenase-1 induction. We tested the hypothesis that edematous white matter would also upregulate pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression and develop DNA damage. We infused autologous plasma into the frontal hemispheric white matter of pentobarbital-anesthetized pigs. We monitored and controlled physiological variables and froze brains in situ at 1, 4 or 24 hrs. We determined edema volumes by computerassisted morphometry. We measured white matter protein carbonyl formation by immunoblotting, cytokine gene expression by standard RT-PCR methods and DNA fragmentation by agarose gel electrophoresis. White matter edema developed acutely (1 hr) after plasma infusion and increased significantly in volume between 4 and 24 hrs. Protein carbonyl formation also occurred rapidly in edematous white matter with significant elevations (3 to 4-fold) already present at 1 hr. This increase remained through 24 hrs. Pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression was also rapidly increased at 1 hr post-infusion. Evidence for DNA fragmentation began at 2 to 4 hrs, and a pattern indicative of both ongoing necrosis and apoptosis was robust by 24 hrs. Plasma protein accumulation in white matter induces acute edema development and a cascade of pathochemical events including oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression and DNA damage. These results suggest that in diseases with increased blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability or following intracerebral hemorrhage or traumatic brain injury, interstitial plasma can rapidly damage white matter.
Keywords: edema, plasma proteins, cytokines, dna damage, blood-brain-barrier
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