A new gerbil model of hindbrain ischemia was induced by extracranial occlusion of the bilateral vertebral arteries just before their entry into the transverse foramen of the cervical vertebra. Carbon black studies, performed at 5 min after occlusion, revealed that the pons-medulla oblongata, and the cerebellum were quite ischemic in all animals. Cardiovascular changes in mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) and heart rate were recorded until 30 min after occlusion, and revealed that the typical cerebral ischemic response (i.e., abrupt increase in MABP, bradycardia, and apnea) was elicited in all animals (n = 10). Thirty minutes after occlusion, animals (n = 4) were decapitated and immersion-fixed. Brain sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin (HE) and also immunostained for microtubule-associated protein 2 in order to evaluate ischemic neuronal damage from 30 min of ischemia. By HE staining, ischemic lesions were detected bilaterally in the oculomotor, the trigeminal motor, the lateral vestibular, and the cerebellar interpositus nucleus. In addition, immunostaining revealed ischemic lesions in several other hindbrain areas. In conclusion, we could successfully establish a new gerbil model of hindbrain ischemia. Carbon black perfusion and hemodynamic studies revealed that severe and reproducible hindbrain ischemia was produced. By histopathological examination, we could also clearly demonstrate symmetrical ischemic lesions in several hindbrain areas.
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