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See detailTransient middle cerebral artery occlusion prevents habit formation in C57Bl/6J mice
Linden, Jérôme ULg; Plumier, Jean-Christophe ULg; Ferrara, André ULg et al

Poster (2013, November 10)

Pathologies affecting the striatum (e.g., Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease) can result in impaired habit learning abilities. Likewise, such impairments have also been observed after stroke affecting ... [more ▼]

Pathologies affecting the striatum (e.g., Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease) can result in impaired habit learning abilities. Likewise, such impairments have also been observed after stroke affecting the middle cerebral artery territory (encompassing the striatum). However, habit learning has never been investigated in animal stroke models, for which it could be a reliable measure of cognitive deficits. We thus assessed the ability to learn a habitual sequence of lever-presses using operant conditioning in mice after MCAO, one of the most common stroke models. C57Bl/6J mice underwent MCAO or sham surgery. Sensorimotor functioning was assessed using the vertical pole test, rotarod and amphetamine-induced rotation test. Habit learning was evaluated using the operant serial order learning (SOL) task: mice had to perform a series of two consecutive lever-presses (i.e., left then right) to obtain a food reward. Lesion extents were finally determined using anti-NeuN immunohistochemistry. MCAO mice were significantly impaired in both the rotarod and vertical pole test, and displayed a significantly greater number of ipsilateral rotations after amphetamine administration. In the operant SOL task, MCAO committed more errors than sham; moreover, they did not show any significant increase in performance along the sessions. Histological analysis showed consistent striatal and cortical infarctions. The lack of habit learning ability in MCAO mice is congruent with both the literature investigating the effect of striatal lesion in animals and the symptomatology observed in human stroke patients. Habit learning could thus be regarded as a reliable measure of functional outcome after MCAO, in combination with test assessing sensory and motor aspects. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of long-term functional deficits following transient cerebral ischemia in two mouse strains
Fassotte, Ludivine ULg; Linden, Jérôme ULg; Ferrara, André ULg et al

Poster (2011, November 03)

Nowadays, no suitable animal model exists to assess long-term disabilities after cerebral ischemia. The aim of this study was to compare long-term behavioral and histological differences between two ... [more ▼]

Nowadays, no suitable animal model exists to assess long-term disabilities after cerebral ischemia. The aim of this study was to compare long-term behavioral and histological differences between two common mouse strains (129S2/SvPasCrl and C57BL6H) after 30 minutes of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Sensorimotor assessments were conducted at one and at three weeks post-surgery using accelerated Rotarod and open-field locomotion. Long-term behavioral testing began four weeks after MCAo using operant conditioning in a progressive fixed-ratio (FR) schedule. Experiments ended with volumetric determination of the infarcted area using NeuN immunostaining. Although no effect of ischemia was detected in 129S2 mice using these tests, in C57 mice, results showed obvious short-term motor and locomotor deficits. Furthermore, subtle but persistent disturbances of endurance and executive functioning were recorded by the progressive schedule tests but not highlighted by sensorimotor tests. Ischemic lesion extended to the dorsolateral part of the striatum in both strains and recurrent cortical damages were also observed in C57 mice. All those results are in accordance with inherent morphological and behavioral features of each strain. Since the motor cortex is spared by 30 minutes MCAo, functional disabilities could be related to striatal damages. In conclusion, C57BL/6H mouse strain, by offering an acceptable survival rate and enough sensitivity to MCAo, seems to be a mouse strain suitable to evaluate long-term deficits and possible functional recovery after cerebral ischemia. [less ▲]

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