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J Neurosci Methods. 1995 Aug;60(1-2):125-31.

Characterisation of an experimental model of stroke produced by intracerebral microinjection of endothelin-1 adjacent to the rat middle cerebral artery.

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Fujisawa Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Pharmacology, University of Edinburgh, UK.


A novel experimental model of stroke has been developed using the powerful vasoconstrictor peptide, endothelin-1, to occlude the middle cerebral artery (MCA) of anaesthetised rats. Intracerebral microinjections of endothelin-1 were administered under stereotaxic guidance adjacent to the MCA, and after 3 days rats were perfusion fixed for histopathological determination of ischaemic brain damage. The pattern of brain damage noted using this model was similar to that reported following permanent surgical occlusion of the MCA. Brain damage was apparent in the dorsal and lateral neocortex (98 +/- 12 mm3) and striatum (32 +/- 3 mm3) ipsilateral to the insult. Rats anaesthetised with halothane and barbiturate exhibited a similar volume of brain damage. However, infarct volume increased when the duration of halothane anaesthesia was extended from 5 to 180 min post-occlusion. Neuroprotection studies demonstrated that dizocilpine (5 mg/kg, i.p.), administered 30 min prior to MCA occlusion, reduced the volume of cortical brain damage by 51% (P < 0.05) but did not alter the volume of striatal brain damage. The present results demonstrate that microinjections of endothelin-1 adjacent to the rat MCA result in a reproducible pattern of focal cerebral infarction which is sensitive to the duration of anaesthesia and can be reduced by dizocilpine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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