Middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat by intraluminal suture: Neurological and pathological evaluation of an improved model

Ludmila Belayev, Ofelia F. Alonso, Raul Busto, Weizhao Zhao, Myron D. Ginsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

676 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate a modified method of intraluminal suture occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) on the volume of brain infarction and on neurobehavioral function in rats subjected to a temporary focal ischemic insult. Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized with halothane and subjected to 60 minutes or 2 hours of temporary MCA occlusion (MCAo) by an intraluminal thread. In one group of rats, the suture was coated with poly-L-lysine, while in a second group, a conventional uncoated suture was used. Behavioral function was evaluated at 50 to 60 minutes after occlusion and during a 3- day period after MCAo. Three days after MCAo, brains were perfusion-fixed and infarct volumes were measured. Results: In rats with 60-minute MCAo, only 3 of 7 animals with uncoated sutures had infarcts, whereas in the group with poly-L-lysine-coated sutures, all rats (n=7) exhibited infarction (P=.009, Fisher's exact test). With 2 hours of MCAo, total infarct volume (corrected for brain edema) was significantly larger in rats with poly-L-lysine-coated sutures than in the group with uncoated sutures (mean±SEM, 122.1±4.8 versus 67.0±18.2 mm3, respectively; P=.03; n=4 in each group). In the 2-hour MCAo study, infarct volumes in the uncoated-suture group tended to be variable and inconsistent (coefficient of variation, 54%) compared with the group in which sutures were coated with poly-L-lysine, in which a highly consistent infarct was produced (coefficient of variation of infarct volume, 8%). Conclusions: Reversible MCAo in which a poly-L-lysine-coated intraluminal suture was used proved to be a reliable and effective modification of this technique, yielding consistently larger infarcts and greatly reduced interanimal variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1616-1623
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1996


  • animal models
  • middle cerebral artery occlusion
  • poly-L-lysine
  • rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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