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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2000 May;20(5):765-71.

Quantitative assessment of ischemic pathology in axons, oligodendrocytes, and neurons: attenuation of damage after transient ischemia.

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Wellcome Surgical Institute, University of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Axons and oligodendrocytes are vulnerable to cerebral ischemia. The absence of quantitative methods for assessment of white matter pathology in ischemia has precluded in vivo evaluation of therapeutic interventions directed at axons and oligodendrocytes. The authors demonstrate here that the quantitative extent of white matter pathology was reduced by restoration of cerebral blood flow after 2 hours of middle cerebral artery occlusion. Focal ischemia was induced in anesthetized rats by intraluminal thread placement, either transiently (for 2 hours) or permanently. At 24 hours after induction of ischemia, axonal damage was determined by amyloid precursor protein (APP) immunohistochemistry, and the ischemic insult to oligodendrocytes was assessed by Tau-1 immunostaining in the same sections. In adjacent sections, ischemic damage to neuronal perikarya was defined histologically. The hemispheric extent of axonal damage was reduced by 70% in the transiently occluded animals from that in permanently occluded animals. The volumes of oligodendrocyte pathology and of neuronal perikaryal damage were reduced by 62% and 58%, respectively, in the transiently occluded animals. These results demonstrate that this methodologic approach for assessing ischemic damage in axons and oligodendrocytes can detect relative alterations in gray and white matter pathology with intervention strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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