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Neurotherapeutics. 2012 Apr;9(2):349-58. doi: 10.1007/s13311-012-0106-0.

Models that matter: white matter stroke models.

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Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Stroke is a devastating neurological disease with limited functional recovery. Stroke affects all cellular elements of the brain and impacts areas traditionally classified as both gray matter and white matter. In fact, stroke in subcortical white matter regions of the brain accounts for approximately 30% of all stroke subtypes, and white matter injury is a component of most classes of stroke damage. However, most basic scientific information in stroke cell death and neural repair relates principally to neuronal cell death and repair. Despite an emerging biological understanding of white matter development, adult function, and reorganization in inflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, little is known of the specific molecular and cellular events in white matter ischemia. This limitation stems in part from the difficulty in generating animal models of white matter stroke. This review will discuss recent progress in studies of animal models of white matter stroke, and the emerging principles of cell death and repair in oligodendrocytes, axons, and astrocytes in white matter ischemic injury.

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