Table of Contents
ISRN Stroke
Volume 2014, Article ID 919652, 9 pages
Research Article

The Severity of Ischemia Varies in Sprague-Dawley Rats from Different Vendors

1Imaging Research Laboratories, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, P.O. Box 5015, 100 Perth Drive, London, ON, Canada N6A 5K8
2Department of Medical Imaging, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6A 3K7
3Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6A 3K7
4Department of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6A 3K7

Received 12 November 2013; Accepted 29 December 2013; Published 9 February 2014

Academic Editors: A. Ducruet and J. Mocco

Copyright © 2014 Simona Nikolova et al. 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.


The purpose of this study was to compare acute cerebral perfusion measured by computed tomography, stroke lesion volume measured by magnetic resonance imaging, and motor function in Sprague-Dawley rats supplied by Charles River (Charles River, Quebec, Canada) and Harlan (Harlan, Michigan, USA). During the acute stages of ischemia (<3 hours), Sprague-Dawley rats supplied by Harlan had a greater reduction in blood flow (67%) than rats supplied by Charles River (37%). MRI at days 1 and 6 after ischemia showed larger lesions in the Charles River animals compared to Harlan animals ( ) at both time points. Lesion volume decreased in both Charles River and Harlan rats at day 6 compared to day 1 ( ) and corresponded to lesion size on histology. The Harlan animals had significant functional deficits ( ) one day after surgery in postural hang reflex, forelimb placement, and tactile fraction first tests, whereas rats supplied by Charles River had no significant functional impairment as a result of surgery. The current study provides evidence that differences in response to ischemia between rats of the same strain supplied by different vendors should be an important consideration when animals are selected for the study of cerebral ischemia.