Neural damage in the rat thalamus after cortical infarcts

Hideaki Iizuka, Kaoru Sakatani, Wise Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations


Histopathologic changes in the thalamus of 23 rats after somatosensory cortical infarction produced by middle cerebral artery occlusion were examined using the Fink-Heimer silver staining method, immunohistochemistry with antibodies against glial fibrillary acidic protein and laminin, and conventional stains. Middle cerebral artery occlusion produced cortical infarcts in the lateral parietal region, with variable involvement of the frontoparietal parasag-ittal sensorimotor cortex. Within 3 days after occlusion, massive terminal degeneration but no neuronal changes were apparent in the ipsilateral thalamus. By 1 week after occlusion, abnormal neurons with darkly stained, shrunken nuclei and atrophic perikarya were present in the ipsilateral thalamic nuclei. These neurons were densely argyrophilic in Fink-Heimer sections. Rats with small lateral parietal cortical lesions had degenerating neurons limited to the medial ventroposteromedial nucleus. Large lesions involving the parasagittal sensorimotor cortex resulted in widespread neuronal damage in the ventroposteromedial, ventroposterolat-eral, intralaminar, and posterior nuclear regions but nowhere else. Immunoreactivity to laminin antibody decreased, and astrocytic proliferation was abundant in affected thalamic areas. These findings are consistent with retrograde neuronal degeneration due to thalamo-cortical fiber damage in ischemic cortical regions. Such lesions remote from the in fa rct may influence functional recovery in patients with stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-794
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Neurons
  • Rats
  • Thalamus

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