Comparison of brain cell death and inflammatory reaction in three models of intracerebral hemorrhage in adult rats

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. May-Jun 2003;12(3):152-9. doi: 10.1016/S1052-3057(03)00036-3.


Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is associated with stroke and head trauma. Different experimental models are used, but it is unclear to what extent the tissue responses are comparable. The purpose of this study was to compare the temporal responses to brain hemorrhages created by injection of autologous whole blood, collagenase digestion of blood vessels, and avulsion of cerebral blood vessels. Adult rats were subjected to ICH. Rats were perfusion fixed with paraformaldehyde 1 hour to 28 days later. Hematoxylin and eosin, Fluoro-Jade, immunohistochemical, and TUNEL staining were used to allow quantification of damaged and dying neurons, neutrophils, CD8alpha immunoreactive lymphocytes, and RCA-1 positive microglia/macrophages, adjacent to the hemorrhagic lesion. In all models, eosinophilic neurons peaked between 2 and 3 days. TUNEL positive cells were observed maximal at 2 days in blood injection model, 3 days in vessel avulsion model, between 1 and 7 days in the collagenase injection model, and were evident in small quantities in 21 to 28 days in 3 models. Neutrophils appeared briefly from 1 to 3 days in all models, but they were substantially lower in the cortical vessel avulsion model, perhaps owing to the devitalized nature of the tissue. Influx of CD8alpha immunoreactive lymphocytes were maximal at 2 to 3 days in the autologous injection model, 3 to 7 days in other 2 models, and persisted for 21 to 28 days in all models. The microglial/macrophage reaction peaked between 2 and 3 days in the blood injection model and at 3 to 7 days in other 2 models, and persisted for weeks in all groups. These results suggest that different models of ICH are associated with similar temporal patterns of cell death and inflammation. However, the relative magnitude of these changes differs.