An improved test of neurological dysfunction following transient focal cerebral ischemia in rats

Michael E. Sughrue, J. Mocco, Ricardo J. Komotar, Anand Mehra, Anthony L. D'Ambrosio, Bartosz T. Grobelny, David L. Penn, E. Sander Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The Adhesive Removal (sticky-tape) test is a commonly used test of somatosensory dysfunction following cerebral ischemia in rats. This test requires several days of pre-training prior to surgery, which can be time consuming. We present our results with an improved version of the sticky-tape test. Male Wistar rats were subjected to either sham surgery (n = 4) or right middle cerebral artery occlusion (rMCAo) using an intraluminal filament (n = 9), followed by a 10-day survival period. On post-operative days (POD) 1, 3, 7, and 10 animals underwent both the conventional sticky-tape test (CST) with measurement of the time to remove the stimulus (trs), as well as a modified sticky-tape test (MST), in which a non-removable tape sleeve was placed around the animal's paw. Time spent attending to this stimulus (tas) was recorded. Despite 3 days of pre-training, animals undergoing baseline CST still exhibited marked variability in pre-operative baseline test performance (trs range 1-60 s). In contrast, animals undergoing MST for the first time demonstrated nearly uniformly excellent performance (% tas range 91.5-98.5% of the 30 s testing period). Although, affected (left) limb performance on both CST (6.8-fold increase in trs on POD 1 compared to baseline) and MST (100% decrease in tas on POD 1 compared to baseline) was markedly altered by rMCAo, CST performance declined bilaterally, and no significant differences in the ratio of affected (left) and unaffected (right) limb performance between sham-operated and rMCAo animals were observed at any time point. In contrast, the ratio of left to right performance on the MST was significantly different at all time points (P < 0.01). In conclusion, we present a simple modification of the widely used Adhesive Removal test and provide evidence that this test can accurately assess neurological dysfunction in rodents, not only with minimal pre-training, but also with improved localization of the side of injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain ischemia
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Functional testing
  • Neurological deficit
  • Neurological function
  • Outcome
  • Pre-training
  • Rodents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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