A mouse model of small-vessel disease that produces brain-wide-identified microocclusions and regionally selective neuronal injury

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2015 May;35(5):734-8. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2015.8. Epub 2015 Feb 18.


We developed a mouse model of small-vessel disease where occlusions are produced through endovascular injection of fluorescent microspheres that target ~12 μm diameter penetrating arterioles and can be localized in histology. Using Thy1-GFP transgenic mice, we visualized the impact of microocclusions on neuronal structure. Microocclusions in the hippocampus produce cell loss or neuronal atrophy (~7% of lodged microspheres led to microinfarcts), while axons within white matter tracts, as well as the striatum and thalamus became blebbed or disrupted. Although the neocortex contained more occlusions than other structures, labeled layer 5 neurons were relatively resistant to structural damage, with <2% of the lodged microspheres producing obvious neuronal damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases* / chemically induced
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases* / metabolism
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases* / pathology
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Arterioles / pathology
  • Arterioles / physiopathology
  • Axons* / metabolism
  • Axons* / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders* / chemically induced
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders* / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus* / blood supply
  • Hippocampus* / metabolism
  • Hippocampus* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microspheres
  • White Matter* / blood supply
  • White Matter* / metabolism
  • White Matter* / pathology