Hippocampal CA1 cell loss in a non-human primate model of transient global ischemia: A pilot study

Koichi Hara, Takao Yasuhara, Noriyuki Matsukawa, Mina Maki, Tadashi Masuda, Guolong Yu, Lin Xu, Laura Tambrallo, Nancy A. Rodriguez, David M. Stern, Takeshi Kawase, Tetsumori Yamashima, Jerry J. Buccafusco, David C. Hess, Cesario V. Borlongan

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19 Citations (Scopus)


We exposed adult Rhesus (Macaca mulatta) to a transient global ischemia, which was induced by clipping the innominate and subclavian arteries that originated from the aortic arch. NHP1 received 20-min, while NHP2 and NHP3, were exposed to a 15-min transient global ischemia and were euthanized at day 1 (NHP1), day 5 (NHP2) or day 30 (NHP3) after ischemia, respectively. NHP1 displayed severe paralysis and rigidity, and intermittent convulsions over the next 24 h. Although histological examination of the brain revealed no detectable gross brain damage (i.e., swelling) and only minimal cell loss in the hippocampus, the acute survival time after surgery likely prevented the cerebral ischemia to fully develop and to be morphologically manifested. Nonetheless, the 20-min ischemia might have been too severe and caused a systemic multiple organ collapse that produced the abnormal behavioral symptoms. On the other hand, NHP2 and NHP3 which received 15-min ischemia only exhibited minor hindlimb paralysis. Indeed, by 48 h after ischemia, both animals appeared fully recovered with only fine motor deficits. Immunohistochemical examination revealed that NHP2 and 3, but not NHP1, had a marked neuronal cell loss in the hippocampal region, specifically the cornu Ammonis (CA1) region. The cell loss in these two ischemic NHP hippocampi was further confirmed by direct comparison with a normal Rhesus brain. These findings replicate the brain pathology seen in Japanese macaques exposed to the same ischemia model [T. Tsukada, M. Watanabe, T. Yamashima, Implications of CAD and DNase II in ischemic neuronal necrosis specific for the primate hippocampus, J. Neurochem. 79 (2001) 1196-1206; T. Yamashima, Implication of cysteine proteases calpain, cathepsin and caspase in ischemic neuronal death of primates, Prog. Neurobiol. 62 (2000) 273-295; T. Yamashima, Y. Kohda, K. Tsuchiya, T. Ueno, J. Yamashita, T. Yoshioka, E. Kominami, Inhibition of ischemic hippocampal neuronal death in primates with cathepsin B inhibitor CA-074: a novel strategy for neuroprotection based on calpain-cathepsin hypothesis, Eur. J. Neurosci. 10 (1998) 1723-1733; T. Yamashima, T.C. Saido, M. Takita, A. Miyazawa, J. Yamano, A. Miyakawa, H. Nishijyo, J. Yamashita, S. Kawashima, T. Ono, T. Yoshioka, Transient brain ischemia provokes Ca2+, PIP2 and calpain responses prior to delayed neuronal death in monkeys, Eur. J. Neurosci. 8 (1996) 1932-1944; T. Yamashima, A.B. Tonchey, T. Tsukada, T.C. Saido, S. Imajoh-Ohmi, T. Momoi, E. Kominami, Sustained calpain activation associated with lysosomal rupture executes necrosis of the postischemic CA1 neurons in primates, Hippocampus 13 (2003) 791-800]. The present minimally invasive transient global ischemia model using Rhesus shows many histopathological symptoms seen in human patients who experienced global ischemia, and should allow translational validation of experimental therapeutics for ischemic injury. Additional studies are warranted to reveal behavioral deficits associated with this ischemia model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-171
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 14 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell loss
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Hippocampus
  • Non-human primate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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