Pathological effects of moderate ischemia (oligemia, hypoperfusion) are relevant in relation to vascular factors in dementia. Chronic bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) in adult Wistar rats induces oligemia and leads to acute changes in gene expression, subacute changes in cortical astrocytes and prolonged changes in white matter tracts, while largely sparing neurons in the forebrain areas. Dilation and remodeling of the basilar artery ensures blood flow to the forebrain. The present study examined the hypoxia-sensitive Purkinje cells in the cerebellum after 6 months of BCCAO using conventional neuropathological analysis, immunohistochemistry and high-precision design-based stereologic methods. Purkinje cells in the vermis region revealed abnormally shaped nuclei. A stereologic analysis showed that the mean total number of Purkinje cells within the vermis was statistically significantly smaller in the BCCAO animals than in the control animals (d = 11.8%; P < 0.0001). BCCAO had no significant effect on the mean volumes of the molecular layer, granule cell layer and white matter in the vermis or the entire cerebellum. Remodeling of the basilar artery indicated that secondary vascular perturbations might be responsible for the effects of BCCAO on the cerebellar Purkinje cells.
- Vascular dementia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine