Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

2010 Research Abstract

Identifying the genetic basis for a protective advantage in SJL mice to cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage

Investigator: Michael Strong, Tulane University School of Medicine
Co-investigator: Mingchang Li, Department of Neurological Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Mentor: Rose Du, MD, PhD, Department of Neurological Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Cerebral vasospasm is the most serious complication in patients who survive the first 24 hours after a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), yet the etiology remains unclear. Recently, it was shown that the SJL/J strain demonstrated resistance to cerebral vasospasm. With this information, we were able to identify ten nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) unique to the SJL/J strain that differ from the other strains previously investigated. The goal of this study was to measure the degree of cerebral vasospasm in response to subarachnoid hemorrhage among the various strains of mice to determine a genetic basis that can be characterized by differences in these ten SNPs. SAH was induced in eight-week-old C57BL/6J, SJL/J, and DBA/2J mice, by injecting 60ml of cannulated arterial blood into the cisterna magna. Mice were perfused with India ink 24 hours later and blood vessel diameters were measured. Two out of the three mouse strains showed significant cerebral vasospasm after SAH. The C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice demonstrated significant cerebral vasospasm characterized by decreased arterial vessel diameter of the arteries in the Circle of Willis. Three SNPs were identified in this study that may confer resistance to cerebral vasospasm. Additional strains must be tested in order to further investigate this genetic association for cerebral vasospasm after SAH.

Updated on June 8, 2011.

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