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Neuroscience. 2012 Jun 14;212:190-200. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.03.034. Epub 2012 Apr 16.

Repeated longitudinal in vivo imaging of neuro-glio-vascular unit at the peripheral boundary of ischemia in mouse cerebral cortex.

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Center for Frontier Science and Engineering, University of Electro-Communications, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan.


Understanding the cellular events evoked at the peripheral boundary of cerebral ischemia is critical for therapeutic outcome against the insult of cerebral ischemia. The present study reports a repeated longitudinal imaging for cellular-scale changes of neuro-glia-vascular unit at the boundary of cerebral ischemia in mouse cerebral cortex in vivo. Two-photon microscopy was used to trace the longitudinal changes of cortical microvasculature and astroglia following permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). We found that sulforhodamine 101 (SR101), a previously-known marker of astroglia, provide a bright signal in the vessels soon after the intraperitoneal injection, and that intensity was sufficient to detect the microvasculature up to a depth of 0.8 mm. After 5-8 h from the injection of SR101, cortical astroglia was also imaged up to a depth of 0.4 mm. After 1 day from MCAO, some microvessels showed a closure of the lumen space in the occluded MCA territory, leading to a restructuring of microvascular networks up to 7 days after MCAO. At the regions of the distorted microvasculature, an increase in the number of cells labeled with SR101 was detected, which was found as due to labeled neurons. Immunohistochemical results further showed that ischemia provokes neuronal uptake of SR101, which delineate a boundary between dying and surviving cells at the peripheral zone of ischemia in vivo. Finally, reproducibility of the MCAO model was evaluated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a different animal group, which showed the consistent infarct volume at the MCA territory over the subjects.

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