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Yasuo Nishijima, Kuniyasu Niizuma, Miki Fujimura, Yosuke Akamatsu, Hiroaki Shimizu and Teiji Tominaga

OBJECT

Numerous studies have attempted to reveal the pathophysiology of ischemic neuronal injury using a representative transient global cerebral ischemia (tGCI) model in rodents; however, most of them have used gerbil or rat models. Recent advances in transgene and gene-knockout technology have enabled the precise molecular mechanisms of ischemic brain injury to be investigated. Because the predominant species for the study of genetic mutations is the mouse, a representative mouse model of tGCI is of particular importance. However, simple mouse models of tGCI are less reproducible; therefore, a more complex process or longer duration of ischemia, which causes a high mortality rate, has been used in previous tGCI models in mice. In this study, the authors aimed to overcome these problems and attempted to produce consistent unilateral delayed hippocampal CA1 neuronal death in mice.

METHODS

C57BL/6 mice were subjected to short-term unilateral cerebral ischemia using a 4-mm silicone-coated intraluminal suture to obstruct the origin of the posterior cerebral artery (PCA), and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) of the PCA territory was measured using laser speckle flowmetry. The mice were randomly assigned to groups of different ischemic durations and histologically evaluated at different time points after ischemia. The survival rate and neurological score of the group that experienced 15 minutes of ischemia were also evaluated.

RESULTS

Consistent neuronal death was observed in the medial CA1 subregion 4 days after 15 minutes of ischemia in the group of mice with a reduction in rCBF of < 65% in the PCA territory during ischemia. Morphologically degenerated cells were mostly positive for terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling and cleaved caspase 3 staining 4 days after ischemia. The survival rates of the mice 24 hours (n = 24), 4 days (n = 15), and 7 days (n = 7) after being subjected to 15 minutes of ischemia were 95.8%, 100%, and 100%, respectively, and the mice had slight motor deficits.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors established a model of delayed unilateral hippocampal neuronal death in C57BL/6 mice by inducing ischemia in the PCA territory using an intraluminal suture method and established inclusion criteria for PCAterritory rCBF monitored by laser speckle flowmetry. This model may be useful for investigating the precise molecular mechanisms of ischemic brain injury.

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Yosuke Akamatsu, Hiroaki Shimizu, Atsushi Saito, Miki Fujimura and Teiji Tominaga

Object

In the intraluminal suture model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in the mouse, disturbance of blood flow from the internal carotid artery to the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) may affect the size of the infarction. In this study, PCA involvement in the model was investigated and modified for consistent MCAO without involving the PCA territory.

Methods

Thirty-seven C57Bl/6 mice were randomly divided into 4 groups according to the length of coating over the tip of the suture (1, 2, 3, or 4 mm) and subjected to transient MCAO for 2 hours. Real-time topographical cerebral blood flow was monitored over both hemispheres by laser speckle flowmetry. After 24 hours of reperfusion, the infarct territories and volumes were evaluated.

Results

The 1- and 2-mm coating groups showed all lesions in the MCA territory. In the 3- and 4-mm coating groups, 62.5% and 75% of mice, respectively, showed lesions in both the MCA and the PCA territories and other lesions in the MCA territory. Mice in the 1- and 2-mm coating groups had significantly smaller infarct volumes than the 3- and 4-mm groups. Laser speckle flowmetry was useful to distinguish whether the PCA territory would undergo infarction.

Conclusions

Small changes in the coating length of the intraluminal suture may be critical, and 1–2 mm of coating appeared to be optimal to produce consistent MCAO without involving the PCA territory. Laser speckle flowmetry could predict the territory of infarction and improve the consistency of the infarct size.