Background: Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, but there are limited treatment options available despite extensive animal studies. A possible contributing factor for this discrepancy involves limitations of behavioral testing outcomes to assess therapeutic interventions. There are few comparisons to aid the researcher in choosing the most appropriate test. To address this issue, we compared the ability of two of the most commonly used fi ne-motor skills tests, the Montoya staircase and skilled forelimb reaching tests, to detect endothelin-1-induced ischemic strokes in the rat.
Methods: Rats were trained for 2 weeks followed by 2 weeks of testing to establish baseline behavior. Rats then received intracerebral injections of increasing volumes of endothelin-1 to induce ischemia. 7 days post-injury, rats were re-tested. Stroke volume was estimated on brain sections.
Results: 8 uL of endothelin-1 produced larger strokes than 2 or 4 uL injections. The skilled forelimb reaching test was able to detect post-stroke defi cits in 4 and 8 uL rats while the staircase test only detected defi cits in the 8 uL rats.
Conclusion: The skilled forelimb reaching test may be more appropriate for researchers studying the effects of smaller strokes
Published on: May 5, 2017 Pages: 16-22