The present study was designed to examine whether endogenous neurogenesis and neovascularization occur in the neocortex of the ischemic rat brain after unilateral middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into six groups (n = 29): one control group (n = 4) and five groups composed of animals sacrificed at increasing times post-MCAO (2 days and 1, 2, 4, and 8 weeks; n = 5 per group). To determine the presence of neurogenesis and neovascularization in the ischemic brain, nestin, Tuj1, NeuN, GFAR Tie2, RECA, and 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) were analyzed immunohistochemically. In addition, nestin, GFAR and Tie2 expression was determined by Western blotting. Triple-labeling of nestin, BrdU, and laminin was performed to visualize the interaction between endogenous neurogenesis and neovascularization. The number of BrdU- and nestin-colabeled cells increased markedly in the neocortex and border zone of the ischemic area up to 1 week after MCAO and decreased thereafter. Western blot analysis revealed that the expression of nestin, Tie-2, and GFAP was amplified in the ipsilateral hemisphere 2 days after MCAO and peaked 1 week after MCAO, compared with that in the normal brain. After ischemic injury, nestin- and BrdU-colabeled cells were observed in the vicinity of the endothelial cells lining cerebral vessels in the ipsilateral neocortex of the ischemic brain. Endogenous neurogenesis and neovascularization were substantially activated and occurred in close proximity to one other in the ipsilateral neocortex of the ischemic rat brain.
- Endogenous neurogenesis
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