Preconditioning with cortical spreading depression does not upregulate Cu/Zn-SOD or Mn-SOD in the cerebral cortex of rats

Kendall Mitchell, Katalin Karikó, Valerie A. Harris, Yolanda Rangel, Jason M. Keller, Frank A. Welsh

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Previous studies have demonstrated that preconditioning the brain with cortical spreading depression (CSD) induces tolerance to a subsequent episode of ischemia. In other models of preconditioning, induction of ischemic tolerance has been associated with increased expression of the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD). The objective of the present study was to determine whether CSD upregulates Cu/Zn-SOD or Mn-SOD. CSD was induced in one hemisphere by applying 2 M KCl to the frontal cortex in Wistar rats. After 2 or 24 h of recovery, Cu/Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD mRNA levels were determined in both hemispheres using Northern blot analysis. In separate rats, Cu/Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD protein levels were determined 24 and 72 h after CSD using Western blot analysis. In addition, total SOD, Cu/Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD enzymatic activities were measured 24 and 72 h after CSD using spectrophotometric and zymographic assays. At the times investigated, no significant differences in mRNA or protein levels for Cu/Zn-SOD or Mn-SOD were observed between the ipsilateral and contralateral cortex. Further, there were no significant differences in Cu/Zn-SOD or Mn-SOD enzymatic activities between the two hemispheres at 24 or 72 h after CSD. In addition, CSD did not alter the activities of Cu/Zn-SOD or Mn-SOD in either hemisphere, relative to those in unoperated animals. Taken together, these results fail to support the hypothesis that CSD-induced tolerance is mediated through the upregulation of Cu/Zn-SOD or Mn-SOD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-58
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 30 Nov 2001


  • Ischemic tolerance
  • Spreading depression
  • Superoxide dismutase


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