Fluoro-Jade and TUNEL staining as useful tools to identify ischemic brain damage following moderate extradural compression of sensorimotor cortex
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Cerebral ischemia was produced by moderate compression for 30 min of a specific brain area in the sensorimotor cortex of Sprague-Dawley rats. On day 1, that is 24 h after the transient sensorimotor compression, ischemia-exposed animals displayed a marked focal neurological deficit documented as impaired beam walking performance. This functional disturbance was mainly due to contralateral fore- and hind-limb paresis. As assessed by daily beam walking tests it was shown that there was a spontaneous recovery of motor functions over a period of five to seven days after the ischemic event. Using histopathological analysis (Nissl staining) we have previously reported that the present experimental paradigm does not produce pannecrosis (tissue cavitation) despite the highly reproducible focal neurological deficit. We now show how staining with fluorescent markers for neuronal death, that is Fluoro-Jade and TUNEL, respectively, identifies regional patterns of selective neuronal death. These observations add further support to the working hypothesis that the brain damage caused by cortical compression-induced ischemia consists of scattered, degenerating neurons in specific brain regions. Postsurgical administration of the AMPA receptor specific antagonist, LY326325 (30 mg/kg; i.p, 70 min after compression), not only improved beam walking performance on day 1 to 3, respectively but also significantly reduced the number of Fluoro-Jade stained neurons on day 5. These results suggest that enhanced AMPA/glutamate receptor activity is at least partially responsible for the ischemia-produced brain damage detected by the fluorescent marker Fluoro-Jade.
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S. Liljequist, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Drug Dependence Research, SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden