Effect of chronic alcohol consumption on brain damage following transient focal ischemia

Hong Sun, Honggang Zhao, Glenda M. Sharpe, Denise M. Arrick, William G. Mayhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Chronic alcohol consumption impairs cerebral vasoreactivity, and thus, may result in an increase in ischemic brain damage. The goal of this study is to examine the influence of chronic alcohol consumption on transient focal ischemia-induced brain damage. Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into two groups, a control group and an alcohol group. Eight weeks after being fed a liquid diet with or without alcohol, responses of parietal pial arterioles to systemic hypoxia and hypercapnia were measured using a cranial window technique. In separate experiments, rats were subjected to right middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 2 h under ketamine/xylazine or isoflurane anesthesia. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was monitored through a Laser-Doppler flow probe attached to the lateral aspect of the skull. Neurological evaluation and ischemic lesion were assessed 24 h after reperfusion. Dilation of pial arterioles in response to hypoxia and hypercapnia was significantly reduced in alcohol-fed rats. Alcohol-fed rats had significantly larger infarct volumes and worse neurological outcomes than non-alcohol-fed rats under ketamine/xylazine or isoflurane anesthesia. In addition, rCBF measurement indicated that alcohol-fed rats had less regulatory rebound increase in rCBF after the initial drop in rCBF at the onset of MCAO. Our findings suggest that chronic alcohol consumption exacerbates transient focal ischemia-induced brain damage. Increased ischemic brain damage during alcohol consumption may be related to an impaired cerebral vasoreactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2008



  • Alcohol
  • Ischemia
  • Middle cerebral artery occlusion
  • Vasoreactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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