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Modeling Stroke in Mice: Transient Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion via the External Carotid Artery.

J Vis Exp. 2021 May 24;(171). doi: 10.3791/62573. PMID: 34096920.

Authors/Editors: Llovera G, Simats A, Liesz A.
Publication Date: 2021


Stroke is the third most common cause of mortality and the leading cause of acquired adult disability in developed countries. To date, therapeutic options are limited to a small proportion of stroke patients within the first hours after stroke. Novel therapeutic strategies are being extensively investigated, especially to prolong the therapeutic time window. These current investigations include the study of important pathophysiological pathways after stroke, such as post-stroke inflammation, angiogenesis, neuronal plasticity, and regeneration. Over the last decade, there has been increasing concern about the poor reproducibility of experimental results and scientific findings among independent research groups. To overcome the so-called “replication crisis”, detailed standardized models for all procedures are urgently needed. As an effort within the “ImmunoStroke” research consortium (, a standardized mouse model of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) is proposed. This model allows the complete restoration of the blood flow upon removal of the filament, simulating the therapeutic or spontaneous clot lysis that occurs in a large proportion of human strokes. The surgical procedure of this “filament” stroke model and tools for its functional analysis are demonstrated in the accompanying video.

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