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iSchemia Cerebral Models | Stroke & Neurodegeneration

Written by MD Biosciences | Apr 19, 2012 11:45:00 AM

Preclinical stroke models are critical to our understanding of the mechanisms and neurological deficits following human stroke. While reducing infarct size is a focus of stroke therapies, much attention is also on neuroprotective properties. Adding behavioral and functional outcome measures to preclinical studies is important to evaluate the impact on impairments that occur following stroke: learning, memory, motor function and sensory. There are many behavior tests, each having different sensitivities to deficits associated with particular areas of brain damage.

The following chart below describes common preclinical models for global and focal cerebral ischemia, the expected area of damage in the brain, the relative cognitive and behavior tests and the histological assessment of the brain.

Table 1: Stroke Models
MCAo (Focal Ischemia)
Multimodal models
  4VO (Global Ischemia) Permanent Transient microsphere/
Expected area of damage Mainly hippocampus Cortex, stratum/Globus Plidus, thalamic nucleus, hippocampus Mainly cortex Cortex, multi-focal

behavior tests

Spatial memory Spatial memory, contralateral motor function, coordination Contralateral motor function, coordination Mainly motor function, spatial fuction
Histology Assessment of damage H&E: cells at the level of hippocampus Thionin/H&E: infarct size assessment Thionin/H&E: infarct size assessment Thionin/H&E: identification of infarct location & assessment of size


There are many behavior tests that can be added to preclinical models of stroke. Different tests are sensitive to deficits associated with particular areas of damage. For that reason, it is crucual to select models that provide damage in the relevant areas and pair them with functional tests that can complement histological data. In this way tests will be relevant to the location of damage and the extent of the damage. Contact a neurologist to discuss a preclinical study design. 


We will continue to explore the various tests that can be added to assess cognitive, motor and sensory function in future posts. To read more about the neuroinflammation cascasde following acute ischemic stroke, download our eBook.