Abstract 3133: Impact of Post-stroke Isolation on Stroke Outcome
Background: Psychosocial factors are increasingly accepted as critical factors in post-stroke recovery, mortality and morbidity. Although, emerging data from clinical and population based studies support the role of social support in improved functional recovery and reducing the risk of mortality, to date no experimental studies have investigated such effects in post-stroke animal models. The aim of this study is to investigate for the impact of post stroke housing and the effects of long-term social isolation and pair housing with either a healthy or a stroked partner, and explored for the mechanisms.
Methods: Male mice (20-25g; C57BL/6N, Charles River Labs), all initially pair housed, were subjected to right middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO - 60min) and then randomly assigned to a specific housing condition - isolated, paired with a stroke partner or paired with a healthy partner. Infarct size was quantified with TTC 72h after stroke (n=8/grp). We then investigated the effects of housing on long-term functional recovery using corner test, cylinder test, forced swim test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST). We further explored the mechanisms underlying the improved behavioral recovery by injecting BrDU 150mg/kg/day i.p. for 5 days starting from day 3 post-stroke (n=8/grp), and assessing changes in BDNF levels by western-blot analysis (n=4/grp). Data were expressed as mean±sem. Two-way ANOVA was performed and P value < .05 was set for statistical significance.
Results: Post-stroke housing conditions can significantly impact infarct size; we observed that mice isolated after stroke had increased infarct volume compared to pair housed mice in all three brain regions (Cortex: 63.2±2.5 vs 40.0±6.2; p<0.01); (Striatum: 86.6±2.2 vs 67.7±2.9; p<0.01); (Total: 60.9±1.3 vs 32.6±4.3; p<0.01). Although post-stroke housing with healthy vs a stroked partner did not influenced infarct size (p>0.05), animals pair housed with healthy partner showed a significantly improved functional recovery by as early as day 15 in the cylinder and corner tests (p<0.05). Increased mobility was observed in FST and TST in PH mice compared to SI mice at day 90 (p<0.05). Consistently, housing with a healthy partner increased BrDU positive cells (p<0.05) and enhanced BDNF expression compared to other cohorts (SI 1±0.1; PH with stroke partner 1.9±0.2; PH with healthy partner 2.6±0.1; n=4/grp), no changes were seen in sham mice.
Conclusions: Post-stroke housing has an important impact on stroke outcome; isolation has a detrimental effect on infarct size compared to pair housed cohorts. Interestingly, independent of infarct size, housing with a healthy partner hastened recovery compared to those stroke mice housed with partner that had also been subjected to stroke. Molecular analysis indicates the involvement of BDNF and neurogenesis may be important regulators of post-stroke housing induced functional recovery.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.