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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jul 2023 - 21 Jul 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Neuroimaging

Migraine/Headache, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Jul 12

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab


Cortical spreading depolarization-induced constriction of penetrating arteries can cause watershed ischemia: A potential mechanism for white matter lesions.


Dönmez-Demir B, Yemisci M, Uruk G, Söylemezoğlu F, Bolbos R, Kazmi S, Dalkara T


Periventricular white matter lesions (WMLs) are common MRI findings in migraine with aura (MA). Although hemodynamic disadvantages of vascular supply to this region create vulnerability, the pathophysiological mechanisms causing WMLs are unclear. We hypothesize that prolonged oligemia, a consequence of cortical spreading depolarization (CSD) underlying migraine aura, may lead to ischemia/hypoxia at hemodynamically vulnerable watershed zones fed by long penetrating arteries (PAs). For this, we subjected mice to KCl-triggered single or multiple CSDs. We found that post-CSD oligemia was significantly deeper at medial compared to lateral cortical areas, which induced ischemic/hypoxic changes at watershed areas between the MCA/ACA, PCA/anterior choroidal and at the tip of superficial and deep PAs, as detected by histological and MRI examination of brains 2-4 weeks after CSD. BALB-C mice, in which MCA occlusion causes large infarcts due to deficient collaterals, exhibited more profound CSD-induced oligemia and were more vulnerable compared to Swiss mice such that a single CSD was sufficient to induce ischemic lesions at the tip of PAs. In conclusion, CSD-induced prolonged oligemia has potential to cause ischemic/hypoxic injury at hemodynamically vulnerable brain areas, which may be one of the mechanisms underlying WMLs located at the tip of medullary arteries seen in MA patients.