Temporary [corrected] cerebral ischemia results in swollen astrocytic end-feet that compress microvessels and lead to delayed [corrected] focal cortical infarction

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2011 Jan;31(1):328-38. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2010.97. Epub 2010 Jun 30.


We examined the mechanisms underlying the abrupt onset of the focal infarction in disseminated selective neuronal necrosis (DSNN) after temporary ischemia. Stroke-positive animals were selected according to their stroke-index score during the first 10 minutes after left carotid occlusion performed twice at a 5-hour interval. The animals were euthanized at various times after the second ischemia. Light- and electron-microscopical studies were performed chronologically on the coronal-cut surface of the cerebral cortex at the chiasmatic level, where focal infarction evolved in the maturing DSNN. We counted the number of neurons, astrocytes, and astrocytic processes (APs); measured the areas of end-feet and astrocytes; and counted the numbers of obstructed microvessels and carbon-black-suspension-perfused microvessels (CBSPm). Between 0.5 and 5 hours after ischemia, DSNN matured, with the numbers of degenerated and dead neurons increasing, and those of APs cut-ends decreasing; whereas the area of the end-feet and the numbers of obstructed microvessels increased and those of CBSPm decreased. At 12 and 24 hours after ischemia, the infarction evolved, with the area of end-feet and astrocytic number decreased; whereas the numbers of obstructed microvessels decreased and the CBSPm number increased. The focal infarction evolved by temporary microvascular obstruction because of compression by swollen end-feet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / pathology*
  • Astrocytes / ultrastructure
  • Capillaries / pathology*
  • Capillaries / ultrastructure
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Size
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology*
  • Cytoplasm / pathology
  • Cytoplasm / ultrastructure
  • Gerbillinae
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / pathology*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mitochondria / pathology
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure
  • Necrosis / pathology
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neurons / ultrastructure