The Role of Cation-Chloride Transporters in Brain Ischemia

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This chapter presents the role of cation-chloride transporters in brain ischemia. Ischemic stroke is the inevitable consequence of transient or permanent reduction of regional cerebral blood flow to brain tissue. Because of the high energy demand of brain tissue, a reduction of blood flow below ∼50% will cause serious perturbations in tissue metabolism. The resulting tissue damage will depend on the severity and length of the brain perfusion deficit. The brain damage in the infarct core is considered to be irreversible in focal stroke. Within minutes, there is a complete collapse of energy production, dissipation of ion gradients, cessation of macromolecular synthesis and loss of cell structure. On the other hand, the penumbra, which surrounds the infarct core, retains residual blood flow and can remain viable for hours or even days. The penumbra tissue is the target for therapeutic intervention.