Penumbral tissues salvaged by reperfusion following middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats.
The rat is now extensively used for studies on focal cerebral ischemia, and several novel pharmacological principles have been worked out in rat models of middle cerebral artery occlusion. The objective of the present study was to assess how ischemic tissue can be salvaged by reperfusion in a model of transient focal ischemia that gives infarction of both the caudoputamen and the neocortex.
The middle cerebral artery of anesthetized rats was occluded for 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, or 180 minutes by an intraluminal filament, and recirculation was instituted for 7 days to allow assessment of the density and localization of ischemic brain damage using histopathologic techniques. Local cerebral blood flow was measured in separate animals to verify that removal of the filament was followed by adequate recirculation.
Following 15 minutes of middle cerebral artery occlusion seven of eight rats showed selective neuronal necrosis in the caudoputamen, while the neocortex was normal. After 30 minutes of occlusion, seven of eight animals had infarcts localized to the lateral caudoputamen, and four of eight had selective neuronal necrosis in the neocortex. Prolongation of the ischemia to 60 minutes induced cortical infarction in all eight rats. The infarct size increased progressively with increasing occlusion time, up to 120-180 minutes, when the infarcts were as extensive as those observed following 24 hours of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion.
The results demonstrate a time window for salvage of penumbral tissues by reperfusion that is shorter than that suggested on the basis of previous data in other species. The results probably reflect a lower collateral blood flow in the rat than in other species. This should be taken into account when the effect of pharmacological agents is studied in rats.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association