Variation of repetitive cortical spreading depression waves is related with relative refractory period: a computational study
Cortical spreading depression (CSD) was induced by transient (10 min) applications of KCl in agar upon the cortical surface of alpha-chloralose anaesthetised cats. Its features were compared with CSD resulting from sustained applications of crystalline KCl through a mapping of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) using diffusion-weighted echo planar imaging (DWI) over a poststimulus period of 60-100 min. Individual CSD events were computationally detected with the aid of Savitzky-Golay smoothing applied to critically sampled data derived from regions of interest (ROIs) made up of 2 x 2 pixel matrices. The latter were consistently placed at three selected sites on the suprasylvian gyrus (SG) and six sites on the marginal gyrus (MG). The CSD events thus detected were then quantitatively characterised for each ROI using the original time series. Both stimuli consistently elicited similar spreading patterns of initial, primary CSD events that propagated over the SG and marginal MG and were restricted to the hemispheres on which the stimuli were applied. There followed secondary events over smaller extents of cortical surface. Sustained stimuli elicited primary and secondary CSD events with similar amplitudes of ADC deflection that were distributed around a single mean. The ADC deflections were also conserved in peak amplitude throughout the course of their propagation. The initial primary event showed a poststimulus latency of 1.1 +/- 0.1 min. Successive secondary events followed at longer, but uniform, time intervals of around 10 min. Primary and secondary CSDs showed significantly different velocities of conduction (3.32 +/- 0.43 mm min(-1) vs. 2.11 +/- 0.21 mm min(-1), respectively; n = 5) across the cerebral hemisphere. In contrast, transient stimuli produced significantly fewer numbers of CSD events (3.8 +/- 0.5 events per animal, n = 5) than did sustained stimuli (7.4 +/- 0.5 events per animal, mean +/- S.E.M., n = 5, P = 0.002). The peak ADC deflection of their primary CSD events declined by approximately 30 % as they propagated from their initiation site to the interhemispheric boundary. The primary CSD event following a transient stimulus showed a latency of 1.4 +/- 0.1 min. It was followed by successive and smaller secondary ADC deflections that were separated by progressively longer time intervals. Conduction velocities of secondary events were similar to those of primary events. Conduction velocities of both primary and secondary events were slower than their counterparts following a sustained stimulus. ADC changes associated with CSD thus persist at times well after stimulus withdrawal and vary markedly with the nature of the initiating stimulus even in brain regions remote from the stimulus site.