Behavioral Assays to Study Sensorimotor Deficit and Recovery in Rats Following Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion
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The goal of this study was to identify a sensorimotor behavioral test that predicts infarct volume in animals with ischemic stroke. Stroke is the major cause of behavioral deficits in humans and research on stroke therapies require that neuroprotective compounds should both reduce infarct volume and improve performance. Previous work from our lab shows that estrogen treatment to older acyclic female rats increases infarct volume as compared to animals that have not received estrogen. Here, we used estrogen replaced and estrogen deficient animals and tested their behavior with the corner test, in conjunction with three other behavioral assays (the forelimb placement test, the rotarod test, and the four-point neurological score test). Our goal was to determine whether or not there is a correlation between performance during the corner test and ischemic volume. In this study, 16 acyclic (reproductively senescent) rats were used and assigned to one of two groups: one group received estrogen treatment after being ovariectomized via a gradual release pellet and the other did not receive an estrogen treatment. All the rats then went through a stroke surgery 3 weeks after the ovariectomy surgery. Before the stroke surgery, all rats also went through training on all behavioral assays and then were administered the assays again after the stroke surgery. Behavioral tests were performed every day after stroke, starting 24hr after stroke. Our results indicate that there is a statistically significant negative correlation between performance on the corner test and infarct volume. These data suggest that the corner test may be a useful test for stroke studies that assess new therapeutic compounds.
Roman-Cruz, Glorian M. (2010). Behavioral Assays to Study Sensorimotor Deficit and Recovery in Rats Following Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from