Tissue processing and optimal visualization of cerebral infarcts following sub-acute focal ischemia in rats

Vibeke Bay, Nina Kerting Iversen, Marziyeh Jabbari, Andrew Tasker, Gregers Wegener, Maryam Ardalan*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Transient cerebral ischemia followed by reperfusion in an infarcted brain comes with predictable acute and chronic morphological alterations in neuronal and non-neuronal cells. An accurate delineation of the cerebral infarct is not a simple task due to the complex shapes and indistinct borders of the infarction. Thus, an exact macroscopic histological approach for infarct volume estimation can lead to faster and more reliable preclinical research results. This study investigated the effect(s) of confounding factors such as fixation and tissue embedding on the quality of macroscopic visualization of focal cerebral ischemia by anti-microtubule-associated-protein-2 antibody (MAP2) with conventional Hematoxylin and Eosin (HE) staining serving as the control. The aim was to specify the most reliable macroscopic infarct size estimation method after sub-acute focal cerebral ischemia based on the qualitative investigation. Our results showed that the ischemic area on the MAP2-stained sections could be identified macroscopically on both cryo-preserved and paraffin-embedded sections from both immersion- and perfusion-fixed brains. The HE staining did not clearly depict an infarct area for macroscopic visualization. Therefore both immersion-fixed and perfused-fixed-MAP2 stained sections can be used reliably to quantify cerebral infarcts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102034
JournalJournal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Brain
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Infarct Quantification
  • MAP2
  • MCAO


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