We used a cytochemical technique for the detection of superoxide in cerebral inflammation and ischemia-reperfusion in anesthetized cats. The technique is based on the oxidation of Mn2+ to Mn3+ by superoxide; Mn3+, in turn, oxidizes diaminobenzidine. The oxidized diaminobenzidine forms an osmiophilic electron-dense product that is detected by electron microscopy. The reagents, manganese chloride (2 mM) and diaminobenzidine (2 mg/ml), were placed topically on the brain surface of anesthetized cats equipped with cranial windows. Inflammation was induced by topical carrageenan with or without phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate to activate leukocytes. In inflammation, superoxide was detected in the plasma membrane and in the phagocytic vacuoles of leukocytes. In ischemia-reperfusion, superoxide was identified in the meninges in association with blood vessels. It was located primarily in the extracellular space and occasionally in endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells. In both inflammation and ischemia, the reaction product was eliminated by superoxide dismutase or by the omission of either manganese or diaminobenzidine. It was unaffected by sodium azide, which inhibits peroxidases. No superoxide was detected in the brain parenchyma. The findings confirm the generation of superoxide is cerebral ischemia-reperfusion and show that it is produced in cerebral vessels.
- Copyright © 1992 the American Physiological Society