Delirium, an acute confusion status, is associated with adverse effects, including the development of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the etiology and underlying mechanisms of delirium remain largely to be determined. Many patients have urinary catheterization (UC), and UC is associated with delirium. However, the cause effects of UC-associated delirium and the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. We, therefore, established an animal model of UC, without urinary tract infection, in mice and determined whether UC could induce delirium-like behavior in the mice and the underlying mechanism of these effects.
Adult female mice (16 weeks old) had UC placement under brief isoflurane anesthesia. The delirium-like behavior was determined using our established mice model at 3, 6, 9, and 24 hours after UC placement. We measured the amounts of glucose in both blood and brain interstitial fluid, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration in the cortex, and glucose transporter 1 in the cortex of mice using western blot, immunohistochemistry imaging, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and fluorescence at 6 hours after the UC placement. Finally, we used vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the interaction studies.
We found that UC induced delirium-like behavior in mice at 3, 6, 9, but not 24 hours after the UC placement. UC decreased glucose amounts in brain interstitial fluid (86.38% ± 4.99% vs 100% ± 6.26%, P = .003), but not blood of mice and reduced ATP amounts (84.49% ± 8.85% vs 100% ± 10.64%, P = .031) in the cortex of mice. Finally, UC reduced both protein amount (85.49% ± 6.83% vs 100% ± 11.93%, P = .040) and messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression (41.95% ± 6.48% vs 100% ± 19.80%, P = .017) of glucose transporter 1 in the cortex of mice. VEGF attenuated these UC-induced changes.
These data demonstrated that UC decreased brain glucose and energy amounts via impairing the glucose transport from blood to brain, leading to delirium-like behavior in mice. These findings will promote more research to identify the etiologies and underlying mechanisms of delirium.