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Acta Neuropathol. 1990;79(5):494-500.

Neuronal damage following non-lethal but repeated cerebral ischemia in the gerbil.

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Department of Neurology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.


Brief, non-lethal transient forebrain ischemia in the gerbil can injure selectively vulnerable neurons when such ischemia is induced repeatedly. The influence of the number and interval of the ischemic insults on neuronal damage, as well as the time course of damage, following repeated 2-min forebrain ischemia were examined. A single 2-min ischemic insult caused no morphological neuronal damage. A moderate number of hippocampal CA1 neurons were destroyed following two ischemic insults with a 1-h interval, and destruction of almost all CA1 neurons resulted from three or five insults at 1-h intervals. Three and five insults also resulted in moderate to severe damage to the striatum and thalamus, depending on the number of episodes. Although three ischemic insults at 1-h intervals caused severe neuronal damage, this number of insults at 5-min and 4-h intervals caused destruction of relatively few neurons, and no neurons were destroyed at 12-h intervals. Following three ischemic insults at 1-h intervals, damage to the striatum, neocortex, hippocampal CA4 subfield and thalamus was observed at 6-24 h of survival, whereas damage to the hippocampal CA1 subfield appeared at 2-4 days. The results indicate that even a brief non-lethal ischemic insult can produce severe neuronal damage in selectively vulnerable regions when it is induced repeatedly at a certain interval. The severity of neuronal damage was dependent on the number and interval of ischemic episodes.

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