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Vol. 33, No. 6, 2011
Issue release date: March 2012

Distribution of pH Changes in Mouse Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischaemic Insult

Kendall G.S. · Hristova M. · Zbarsky V. · Clements A. · Peebles D.M. · Robertson N.J. · Raivich G.
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We assessed the distribution in brain pH after neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic insult and its correlation with local injury. Postnatal day 7 mice were injected with neutral red and underwent left carotid occlusion and exposure to 8% oxygen. Images captured from the cut surface of snap-frozen brain were used to calculate the pH from the blue-green absorbance ratios. Carotid occlusion alone had no effect, but combined with hypoxia caused rapid, biphasic pH decline, with the first plateau at 15–30 min, and the second at 60–90 min. The ipsilateral dorsal cortex, hippocampus, striatum and thalamus were most affected. Contralateral pH initially showed only 30% of the ipsilateral decline, becoming more acidotic with increasing duration. Systemic blood analysis revealed, compared with hypoxia alone, that combined insult caused a 63% decrease in blood glucose (1.3 ± 0.2 mM), a 2-fold increase in circulating lactate (17.7 ± 2.9 mM), a reduction in CO2 to 1.9 ± 0.1 kPa and a drop in pH (7.26 ± 0.06). Re-oxygenation resulted in the normalisation of systemic changes, as well as a global alkaline rebound in brain pH at 4–6 h. A topographic comparison of brain injury showed only a partial correlation with pH changes, with the severest injury occurring in the ipsilateral hippocampus and sparing acidic parts of the contralateral cortex.

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