Sensorimotor and cognitive consequences of middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats

Carrie G. Markgraf, Edward J. Green, Barry E. Hurwitz, Eiharu Morikawa, W. Dalton Dietrich, Philip M. McCabe, Myron D. Ginsberg, Neil Schneiderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


Rats were subjected to either right proximal middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion or sham operation, and examined for an extendend period on a battery of tests designed to measure simple motor function, sensorimotor integration and cognitive function. Rats with MCA occlusion showed extensive neuronal loss in the dorsolateral striatum and variable neuron loss in the parietal, temporal and frontolateral neocortex. MCA occluded animals exhibited significant impairments in tests of postural reflex, visual and tactile forelimb placing, locomotor coordination, and a test of simultaneous bilateral tactile extinction. The reflex and sensorimotor function deficits recovered to pre-operative levels by Day 30 post-ischemia. Five weeks following surgery, rats were tested in 2 versions of the Morris water task. Rats with MCA occlusion demonstrated significant impairments in their ability to navigate to a hidden platform, but were not significantly impaired on the visible (cued) version of the task. This general pattern of transient sensorimotor and reflex deficits, but with more persistent cognitive impairments, is similar to that seen in humans following MCA infarcts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-246
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 20 1992


  • Behavior
  • Middle cerebral artery
  • Somatosensory cortex
  • Striatum
  • Stroke
  • Water maze

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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