The sensorimotor and cognitive deficits in rats following 90- and 120-min transient occlusion of the middle cerebral artery

Liga Zvejniece, Baiba Svalbe, Edgars Liepinsh, Eduards Pulks, Maija Dambrova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) is the most commonly used method to study the neurological and histological outcomes and the pathological mechanisms of ischaemic stroke. The current work compares sensorimotor and cognitive deficits and the infarct volume in rats following a transient 90- or 120-min MCAO, which allows the appropriate behavioural tests to be chosen based on the goal and design of the experiment.In the beam-walking test, we found significant differences between the 90- and 120-min MCAO groups in the number of foot faults made with the impaired hindlimb on post-stroke days 3, 7 and 14. In the cylinder test, a difference between the 90- and 120-min groups was observed on post-operation day 14. The responses to tactile and proprioceptive stimulation were impaired to a similar extent after 90- and 120-min MCAO in the vibrissae-evoked forelimb-placing and limb-placing tests. Moreover, we found significant memory impairment in the 120-min MCAO group 6 days after the acquisition trial. The brain tissue damage was significantly higher after 120-min occlusion of the MCA compared with 90-min occlusion; the infarct volumes were 13% and 25% of the contralateral hemispheres, respectively.In conclusion, both the 90- and 120-min occlusion models result in a significant impairment of sensorimotor, tactile and proprioceptive function, but memory impairment is only observed in the 120-min MCAO group. The beam-walking and cylinder tests detected neurological dysfunction after the 120-min MCAO, whereas the limb-placing and vibrissae-evoked forelimb-placing tests were able to evaluate the neurological dysfunction in rats after 90- and 120-min MCAO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2012


  • Behavioural testing
  • Memory impairment
  • Sensorimotor deficit
  • Stroke
  • Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)

Field of Science*

  • 1.6 Biological sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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