Novel experimental model for repeated forebrain ischemia-reperfusion

Author(s): Lei Chen MD, Yu Shang, Eszter Sipos, Kathryn E. Saatman, Guoqiang Yu and Michal Toborek

Background and Purpose: The lack of reliable rodent model for repeated ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) hampers experimental research on stroke. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to develop a mouse model for repeated I-R cycles in a single animal on different days.

Methods and Results: The right common carotid artery (CCA) was ligated and both vertebral arteries were coagulated. A customized vascular occluder, with its actuating tubing glued to a microport, was cuffed around the isolated left CCA and secured. Inflating of the occluder diaphragm via the microport restricted the blood flow via the left CCA and reduced the cerebral blood flow (CBF) by 75% in both hemispheres, while deflating allowed for the CBF restoration. Two minutes of forebrain ischemia followed by a 24 h reperfusion period was tolerated by animals for 5 cycles. Importantly, repeated 2 min I-R cycles attenuated the infarct volume induced by occlusion of the middle cerebral artery.

Conclusions: The described model is a reliable method to induce transient I-R events in the forebrain. The model mimics transient ischemic attacks and allows for controlling the ischemic durations, intervals, and numbers of I-R cycles.