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Exp Brain Res. 1995;106(1):1-6.

Astroglial responses in photochemically induced focal ischemia of the rat cortex.

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Department of Neurology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.


This study investigated astroglial responses after focal cerebral ischemia in the rat cortex induced by photothrombosis. Astrocyte activation was studied at various time points by immunocytochemistry for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin (VIM). We found a dual astrocytic response to focal ischemia: In the border zone of the infarct, GFAP-positive astrocytes were present within 2 days and persisted for 10 weeks. These astrocytes additionally expressed VIM. Remote from the ischemic lesion, cortical astrocytes of the entire ipsilateral hemisphere transiently expressed GFAP, but not VIM, beginning on day 3 after photothrombosis. This response had disappeared on day 14. By recording DC potentials, five to seven spreading depressions (SD) could be detected on the cortical surface during the first 2 h after photothrombosis. Treatment with MK801, a non-competitive NMDA-receptor antagonist, completely abolished SD and remote ipsilateral astrocytic activation, while the reaction in the border zone of the infarct remained unchanged. Functionally, persistent astrocytosis around the infarct might be induced by leukocyte-derived cytokines, while NMDA-receptor-mediated SD might cause remote responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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