Efforts are still needed regarding the research of therapeutics for ischemic stroke. While in experimental studies the protective effect of pharmacological agents is often highlighted by a reduction of the lesion size evaluated in the short term (days), in clinical studies a functional recovery of patients suffering from stroke is expected on the long-term (months and years). Long-term functional preclinical studies are highly recommended to evaluate potential neuroprotective agents for stroke, rather than an assessment of the infarction size at a short time point. The present study thus aimed to select among various behavioral tests those able to highlight long-term deficits (3 months) after cerebral ischemia in mice. Permanent focal cerebral ischemia was carried out in male Swiss mice by intraluminal occlusion of the left middle cerebral artery (MCA). Fourteen behavioral tests were assessed from 7 days to 90 days after ischemia (locomotor activity, neurological score, exit circle test, grip and string tests, chimney test, adhesive removal test, pole test, beam-walking tests, elevated plus maze, marble burying test, forced swimming test, novel object recognition test). The present study clearly identified a battery of behavioral tests able to highlight deficits up to 3 months in our mouse model of permanent MCA occlusion (locomotor activity, neurological score, adhesive removal test, pole test, beam-walking tests, elevated plus maze, marble burying test, forced swimming test and novel object recognition test). This battery of behavioral tests highlighting long-term deficits is useful to study future neuroprotective strategies for stroke treatment.
Keywords: Behavioral tests; Focal permanent cerebral ischemia; Long-term recovery; Middle cerebral artery occlusion; Mouse; Stroke.
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