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Transient forebrain ischemia induces impairment in cognitive performance prior to extensive neuronal cell death in the Mongolian Gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus)
Tomohiro Kondo1, Suguru Yoshida1, Hiroaki Nagai1, Ai Takeshita1, Masaki Mino1, Hiroshi Morioka1, Takayuki Nakajima2, Ken Takeshi Kusakabe3, Toshiya Okada1,*
Departments of 1Laboratory Animal Science and 2Veterinary Anatomy, Division of Veterinary Science, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Osaka 598-8531, Japan
3Department of Veterinary Anatomy, Faculty of Common Veterinary Medicine, University of Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi 753-8515, Japan
Correspondence to: Tel: +81-72-463-5607; Fax: +81-72-463-5629; E-mail: okada@vet.osakafu-u.ac.jp
Received: January 2, 2018; Revised: March 15, 2018; Accepted: April 23, 2018; Published online: April 26, 2018.
Abstract
In Mongolian gerbils, bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) for several minutes induces ischemia and delayed neuronal cell death in the Cornet d'Ammon 1 (CA1) region of the hippocampus by their incomplete circle of Willis. Neuronal cell death in the hippocapus and changes in behavior were examined after BCCAO was performed for 5 minutes in the gerbils. One day after BCCAO, the pyramidal neurons of the CA1 region of the hippocampus showed degenerative changes (clumped chromatin of the nuclei). Five days and 10 days after BCCAO, extensive neuronal cell death was observed in the hippocampal CA1 region. Cognitive performance was evaluated using the radial maze test and passive avoidance test. In the radial maze test which examine win-stay performance, the number of errors was significantly higher in ischemic gerbils than in sham-operated gerbils on days 1 and 2 post-operation. In the passive avoidance test, the latency and freezing times were significantly shorter in ischemic gerbils than in sham-operated gerbils on the 1st and 2nd days and the 4th - 6th days after the operation. These results indicate that transient forebrain ischemia impairs cognitive performance even immediately after the ischemic insult when there are only subtle signs of neuronal cell death.
Keywords: behavioral analysis, delayed neuronal cell death, forebrain ischemia, passive avoidance test, win-stay strategy


© 2018 The Korean Society of Veterinary Science.