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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2000 Mar;55(3):B135-41; discussion B142-3.

Age-dependent increase in infarct volume following photochemically induced cerebral infarction: putative role of astroglia.

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  • 1Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Neurosciences Research Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


This study demonstrates that the photochemically induced model of stroke is an extremely viable method of inducing cerebral infarction in old animals. The lesions are reproducible both in terms of location and size and compatible with long-term survival of the animal. With this model we demonstrated, one week following surgery, a significantly larger infarct in rats 20 and 24 months of age compared to 4-month-old rats. The older rats also sustained greater neurologic deficits as assessed on a rotarod task. Older rats also were characterized by a glial response that was far less intense than in young animals. While the precise relationship between glia activation and cerebral damage remains to be determined, it would appear that a better understanding of those factors that contribute to the astrocytic response in the aged rat may be of particular benefit in designing therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing the pathologic consequences of cerebral infarction in elderly humans.

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