The Mouse Circle of Willis

  • Hannsjörg SchröderEmail author
  • Natasha Moser
  • Stefan Huggenberger


The mouse circle of Willis follows the general mammalian bauplan and resembles that of man. Thus, the circle consists of the main large cerebral arteries; the middle, anterior, and posterior cerebral arteries; plus the anterior and posterior communicating arteries. In particular with regard to the posterior cerebral artery, there are certain differences compared with man. For example, in the C57BL/6 mouse, it does not originate directly from the basilar artery but from the superior cerebellar artery via the posterior communicating artery. These and other peculiarities have to be kept in mind in experimental stroke research. Mice only very rarely display cerebrovascular problems which means that the manipulation of cerebral arteries usually is a prerequisite for the induction of stroke-like conditions.


Circle of Willis Internal carotid artery Vertebral artery Anterior cerebral artery Middle cerebral artery Posterior cerebral artery Communicating arteries Stroke 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hannsjörg Schröder
    • 1
    Email author
  • Natasha Moser
    • 1
  • Stefan Huggenberger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department II of AnatomyUniversity Hospital CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Anatomy and Clinical MorphologyUniversity of Witten/HerdeckeWittenGermany

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