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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 464701, 9 pages
Review Article

Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion Model in Rodents: Methods and Potential Pitfalls

1Department of Neuroscience, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA
2Department of Neurology, University of Connecticut Health Center and The Stroke Center at Hartford Hospital, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030, USA

Received 15 September 2010; Revised 23 December 2010; Accepted 23 December 2010

Academic Editor: Andrea Vecchione

Copyright © 2011 Fudong Liu and Louise D. McCullough. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A variety of animal models have been developed for modeling ischemic stroke. The middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model has been utilized extensively, especially in rodents. While the MCAO model provides stroke researchers with an excellent platform to investigate the disease, controversial or even paradoxical results are occasionally seen in the literature utilizing this model. Various factors exert important effects on the outcome in this stroke model, including the age and sex of the animal examined. This paper discusses emerging information on the effects of age and sex on ischemic outcomes after MCAO, with an emphasis on mouse models of stroke.