Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 90, Issue 4, pp 375–386 | Cite as

Temporal evolution of neuropathologic changes in an immature rat model of cerebral hypoxia: a light microscopic study

  • Javad Towfighi
  • Natasa Zec
  • Jerry Yager
  • Cathy Housman
  • Robert C. Vannucci
Regular Paper


The sequential evolution of neuropathologic changes was studied in an immature model of cerebral hypoxia-ischemia. Accordingly, 7-day postnatal rats were subjected to unilateral common carotid artery ligation combined with 2 h of hypoxia (breathing in 8% oxygen) and their brains were examined by light microscopy at recovery intervals ranging from 0 to 3 weeks. Immediately following hypoxia, a large area with a pale staining border was noted occupying most of the cerebral hemisphere ipstlateral (IL) to the occluded common carotid artery; in approximately half of the brains the dorsomedial cortex of the contralateral (CL) hemisphere was also involved. Most neurons in the pale area had nuclei containing a coarse granular condensation of chromatin. Within a few hours, the majority of neurons in the IL hemisphere had developed pyknotic nuclei and clear or eosinophilic perikarya. After 24 h these changes had evolved in the majority of brains into coagulation necrosis (infarction) in the IL hemisphere sphere and foci of selective neuronal necrosis in the CL ortex. Within a few days infarcts became partially cavirated, and by 3 weeks a smooth-walled cystic infarct had developed. Activated microglia/macrophages and reactive astrocytes were first seen at 4 and 24 h, respectively. No parenchymal neutrophilic infiltrate was seen at any time point.

Key words

Brain Hypoxia-ischemia Pathology Perinatal Rats 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javad Towfighi
    • 1
  • Natasa Zec
    • 3
  • Jerry Yager
    • 4
  • Cathy Housman
    • 1
  • Robert C. Vannucci
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyThe Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, The Milton S. Hershey Medical CenterHersheyUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsThe Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, The Milton S. Hershey Medical CenterHersheyUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pediatrics, Royal University HospitalUniversity of SaskatoonCanada

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