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Open AccessArticle

Characterization of Behaviour and Remote Degeneration Following Thalamic Stroke in the Rat

1
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 5C1, Canada
2
Clinical Neurological Sciences, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 5A5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chris Sobey
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 13921-13936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160613921
Received: 17 March 2015 / Revised: 18 May 2015 / Accepted: 11 June 2015 / Published: 17 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Immune System and Inflammation in Cerebral Ischemia)
Subcortical ischemic strokes are among the leading causes of cognitive impairment. Selective atrophy of remote brain regions connected to the infarct is thought to contribute to deterioration of cognitive functions. The mechanisms underlying this secondary degenerative process are incompletely understood, but are thought to include inflammation. We induce ischemia by unilateral injection of endothelin-I into the rat dorsomedial thalamic nucleus, which has defined reciprocal connections to the frontal cortex. We use a comprehensive test battery to probe for changes in behaviour, including executive functions. After a four-week recovery period, brain sections are stained with markers for degeneration, microglia, astrocytes and myelin. Degenerative processes are localized within the stroke core and along the full thalamocortical projection, which does not translate into measurable behavioural deficits. Significant microglia recruitment, astrogliosis or myelin loss along the axonal projection or within the frontal cortex cannot be detected. These findings indicate that critical effects of stroke-induced axonal degeneration may only be measurable beyond a threshold of stroke severity and/or follow a different time course. Further investigations are needed to clarify the impact of inflammation accompanying axonal degeneration on delayed remote atrophy after stroke. View Full-Text
Keywords: subcortical ischemia; axonal degeneration; inflammation; secondary damage; executive function; frontal cortex subcortical ischemia; axonal degeneration; inflammation; secondary damage; executive function; frontal cortex
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Weishaupt, N.; Riccio, P.; Dobbs, T.; Hachinski, V.C.; Whitehead, S.N. Characterization of Behaviour and Remote Degeneration Following Thalamic Stroke in the Rat. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 13921-13936.

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