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Front. Behav. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00316

Neuroanatomy- and Pathology-Based Functional Examinations of Experimental Stroke in Rats: Development and Validation of a New Behavioral Scoring System

  • 1Graduate Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • 2Department of Neurology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taiwan
  • 3Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • 4Graduate Institute of Brain and Mind Sciences, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • 5College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

In experimental stroke studies, a neuroanatomy-based functional examination of behaviors is critical to predict the pathological extent of infarcts because brain-imaging studies are not always available. However, there is a lack of systematic studies to examine the efficiency of a behavioral test for this purpose. Our work aimed to design a new score for this goal in stroke rats, by simplifying the Garcia score (with subscore 1-6) and adding circling as subscore 7. MRI and 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining were used to determine the pathological extent after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. The modified summations of subscores were designed according to the predictability of each subscore for locations and sizes of infarcts in one group of stroke rats, and were validated in another group. The original Garcia score was able to predict the pathological extent of edema-adjusted infarct size ≥ 30%, and the summation of subscore 4, 6, and 7 (4: climbing, 6: vibrissae sensation, 7: circling) also could predict it well. The original Garcia score failed to predict infarct at the primary motor cortex, while the summation of subscore 4, 6, and 7 potentially could predict not only the primary motor cortex, but also the forelimb, hindlimb and barrel field regions of the primary sensory cortex. Accordingly, this neuroanatomy-correlated functional assessment system composed of subscore 4, 6, and 7 was proposed, with less examination time and better inter-rater reliability than the original Garcia score. In summary, this new scoring system, summation (4,6,7) score, examined motor and sensory functions based on neuroanatomical involvement, having the potential to predict the pathological extent and specific relevant brain areas of infarcts, respectively.

Keywords: Stroke, Neuroanatomy, Functional examinations, Garcia score, circling, Infarct size

Received: 09 Jul 2018; Accepted: 03 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Etsuro Ito, Waseda University, Japan

Reviewed by:

Scott Barbay, University of Kansas Medical Center, United States
Giulia Torromino, Telethon Institute Of Genetics And Medicine, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Yeh, Tang, Tsai, Jeng, Chen and Hsieh. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Sung-Tsang Hsieh, Graduate Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, shsieh@ntu.edu.tw