Hypoxia/hypoglycemia preconditioning prevents the loss of functional electrical activity in organotypic slice cultures.
In cerebral ischemic preconditioning (IPC), a first sublethal ischemia increases the resistance of neurons to a subsequent severe ischemia. Despite numerous studies, the mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Our goal is to develop an in vitro model of IPC on hippocampal organotypic slice cultures. Instead of anoxia, we chose to apply varying degrees of hypoxia that allows us various levels of insult graded from mild to severe. Cultures are exposed to combined oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) of varying intensities, ranging from mild to severe, assessing both the electrical activity and cell death. IPC was accomplished by exposure to the mildest ischemia condition (10% of O2 for 15 min) 24 h before the severe deprivation (5% of O2 for 30 min). Interestingly, IPC not only prevented delayed ischemic cell death 6 days after insult but also the transient loss of evoked potential response. The major interest and advantage of this system over both the acute slice preparation and primary cell cultures is the ability to simultaneously measure the delayed neuronal damage and neuronal function.