Augmentation of nitric oxide, superoxide, and peroxynitrite production during cerebral ischemia and reperfusion in the rat

L. J. Forman, P. Liu, R. G. Nagele, K. Yin, P. Y.K. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


The effect of ischemia produced by bilateral occlusion of the common carotid arteries (30 min) followed by 4 hours of reperfusion on total and inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity and the production of nitric oxide (NO), superoxide and peroxynitrite in the cerebral hemispheres was determined in the rat. Compared to sham-operated controls, cerebral ischemia- reperfusion resulted in a significant increase in total and inducible NOS activity and a significant increase in the production of NO and superoxide in the cerebral hemispheres. The level of NO in the plasma and the peripheral leukocyte count were also significantly increased. Immunohistochemical staining for nitrotyrosine (a marker of peroxynitrite production) showed that ischemia-reperfusion resulted in increased synthesis of cerebral peroxynitrite. Administration of the irreversible NOS inhibitor, Nω-nitro- L-arginine (L-NA), increased superoxide levels in the brain and significantly reduced plasma NO. Total and inducible NOS activity as well as NO and immunoreactive nitrotyrosine, in the cerebral hemispheres were reduced with L-NA administration. The number of leukocytes in the plasma was unaffected by administration of L-NA. These findings suggest that cerebral ischemia- reperfusion causes increased production of reactive oxygen species in the cerebral hemispheres and that the production of peroxynitrite, and not superoxide, may be dependent upon the availability of NO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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