To assess whether ischemia could induce GAP-43 mRNA expression, we performed in situ hybridization in gerbil brains that had been subjected to 5 min of global ischemia. In control dentate granule cells, little hybridization was detected in contrast to the intense signal generated by pyramidal neurons of the adult hippocampal formation. After ischemia, we detected a robust GAP-43 signal over hippocampal granule cells at 3 h of reperfusion, persisting through 7 days, and disappearing by 14 days. This demonstrated GAP-43 gene induction after ischemia, and suggests that GAP-43 may be involved in reactive events, including fiber sprouting and synaptic reorganization, that follow ischemia.
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