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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2007 May;87(1):179-97. Epub 2007 May 4.

Acute ischemic stroke: overview of major experimental rodent models, pathophysiology, and therapy of focal cerebral ischemia.

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Department of Neurology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Biomedicum Helsinki, POB 700, Haartmaninkatu 8, 00290 Helsinki, Finland.


Ischemic stroke is a devastating disease with a complex pathophysiology. Animal modeling of ischemic stroke serves as an indispensable tool first to investigate mechanisms of ischemic cerebral injury, secondly to develop novel antiischemic regimens. Most of the stroke models are carried on rodents. Each model has its particular strengths and weaknesses. Mimicking all aspects of human stroke in one animal model is not possible since ischemic stroke is itself a very heterogeneous disorder. Experimental ischemic stroke models contribute to our understanding of the events occurring in ischemic and reperfused brain. Major approaches developed to treat acute ischemic stroke fall into two categories, thrombolysis and neuroprotection. Trials aimed to evaluate effectiveness of recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator in longer time windows with finer selection of patients based on magnetic resonance imaging tools and trials of novel recanalization methods are ongoing. Despite the failure of most neuroprotective drugs during the last two decades, there are good chances to soon have effective neuroprotectives with the help of improved preclinical testing and clinical trial design. In this article, we focus on various rodent animal models, pathogenic mechanisms, and promising therapeutic approaches of ischemic stroke.

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