The behavioral and neurochemical changes in the chronic phase of permanent occlusion of the right middle cerebral artery (MCA) in rats were investigated. One month after MCA occlusion, 23 rats were unable to solve a radial eight-arm maze task during an entire 1-month period, whereas seven rats were able to solve this task. Three months after occlusion, 19 MCA- occluded rats failed to solve the task successfully again for at least 1 month (the cognitively impaired rats), whereas 11 MCA-occluded rats were able to solve it (the cognitively unimpaired rats). The rats that underwent behavioral testing were examined for any changes in the acetylcholine (ACh) levels in the hippocampus using HPLC with electrochemical detection or the formation of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the population spike of the hippocampal CA1 field. The immunohistochemical distribution of either the microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) or glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in the hippocampus of the cognitively impaired rats was also studied. In the cognitively impaired rats, neither the suppression of the induction of LTP, nor the degradation of MAP2, nor the increase in the GFAP immunoreactivity was observed in the hippocampus. The levels of ACh in the hippocampus did not change significantly among the cognitively impaired, unimpaired, and the sham-operated rats. These results suggest that MCA occlusion is capable of producing long-term spatial cognitive disturbance in rats without any evidence of neurobiological damage in the hippocampus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine