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NeuroScience Associates


See Table of Stains appropriate for Stroke




Animal models for stroke attempt to induce a cerebral ischemia to mimic the effects of a stroke in humans which tends to be more difficult to replicate in smaller rodents than in larger animals. Neurohistology for stroke research primarily focuses on methods to quantify the ischemic region and characterize the margin of surviving tissue.

Animal Models

25 Mouse Brains Coronal

Up to 25 mouse brains are
co-embedded and appear on
each MultiBrain® slide section.

16 Rat Brains Coronal

Up to 16 rat brains are
co-embedded and appear on
each MultiBrain® slide section.

Dog Brain

Large brains such as a monkey,
sheep. and dog are processed
intact. If hemisected two
hemispheres are co-embedded
and appear on the same
MultiBrain® slide section.

Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) Breakdown

SMI-71 Endothelial Barrier Protein EBP
Rat-normal vessels


SMI-71 Endothelial Barrier Protein EBP Rat stroke
model reveals loss of EBP associated with
Blood Brain Barrier Compromise

Stroke Ischemia

Protective effects of interventions after stroke are ideally based on clinical neurologic outcomes and subsequent neurohistology. In small animal stroke models, difficulties with long survival times and neurologic evaluation prompt many investigators to perform acute studies and determine protection by histologic evaluations immediately after inducing an infarction. Many stains have been used to identify infarct areas, but it is not clear if these areas include or could delineate the penumbra, i.e., the potentially salvageable tissue at the margin of the infarct. The triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) method, for instance, is known to give variable infarct volumes depending on how long after the infarct the tissue is harvested. A fortuitous observation led to a staining method that delineates the penumbra and highlights the infarcted volume in sharp contrast, hence the Ischemia Contrast Stain (ICS). Normal tissue is dense black, infarcted areas fail to stain and gradations of gray identify the penumbra zone. Section images are digitized and, based on optical density, the volumes of the infarct, penumbra and normal brain are calculated. Adjacent sections stained with other methods including H&E, thionine and GFAP IHC display less definition of affected areas.

Ischemia Contrast Stain (ICS)

Appearance of stroke in popular animal models with decreasing severity

Gerbil: Ligation of Carotid Arteries

Rat: Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion



Image Analysis of Ischemic Area in Stroke Model






Gerbil brain section rendered ischemic from bilateral carotid ligation. The ischemia Contrast stain sharply delineates affected areas.





Once the image of the section is digitized, boundaries of the entire section and individual ischemic zones (1–3) are drawn, using density thresholding techniques with an NIH Image. Total volumes or an “index” of the volumes affected can be calculated from analysis on additional sections.
DATA:					  Area (sq. units)
 		Entire section			2.73
 		Area 1				0.02
 		Area 2				0.17
 		Area 3				0.11

                  % Ischemic area: 10.99%

If you would like further information about how NSA can assist you with your research, please contact us or refer to our catalog.