Blood brain barrier in right- and left-pawed female rats assessed by a new staining method

Int J Neurosci. 2002 Sep;112(9):1037-46. doi: 10.1080/00207450290026030.


The asymmetrical breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) was studied in female rats. Paw preference was assessed by a food reaching test. Adrenaline-induced hypertension was used to destroy the BBB, which was evaluated using triphenyltetrazolium (TTC) staining of the brain slices just after giving adrenaline for 30 s. In normal rats, the whole brain sections exhibited complete staining with TTC. After adrenaline infusion for 30 s, there were large unstained areas in the left brain in right-pawed animals, and vice versa in left-pawed animals. Similar results were obtained in seizure-induced breakdown of BBB. These results were explained by an asymmetric cerebral blood flow depending upon the paw preference in rats. It was suggested that this new method and the results are consistent with contralateral motor control that may be important in determining the dominant cerebral hemisphere in animals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / drug effects*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiology
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Coloring Agents
  • Epinephrine / pharmacology*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Forelimb / physiology
  • Functional Laterality
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Staining and Labeling / methods*
  • Tetrazolium Salts


  • Coloring Agents
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • triphenyltetrazolium
  • Epinephrine