Three-dimensional analysis of vasospastic major cerebral arteries in rats with the corrosion cast technique

Shigeki Ono, Isao Date, Masaaki Nakajima, Keisuke Onoda, Kotaro Ogihara, Tomomi Shiota, Shoji Asari, Yoshifumi Ninomiya, Nobuyoshi Yabuno, Takashi Ohmoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose: Although mice, rats, and other small animals are commonly used for molecular biology research, their use in the evaluation of cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage is somewhat problematic because of the correspondingly small size of their cerebral vessels. We have already reported that the corrosion cast technique was useful for evaluating newly formed cerebral vessels in neural grafts in these small animals. In the present study we applied the corrosion cast technique to the evaluation of hemolysate-induced cerebral vasospasm in rats and performed three-dimensional analysis for comparison. The casting was done 10 minutes after the hemolysate injection, so that only acute 'vasospasm' was assessed. Methods: After withdrawal of 0.1 mL cerebrospinal fluid, 0.2 mL hemolysate (n=9) or saline (n=10) was injected into the cisterna magna of male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing between 300 and 350 g. Ten minutes later, perfusion of a semipolymerized casting medium was performed at an injection pressure of 100 to 120 mm Hg. The brains were immersed and corroded in 10% NaOH solution. After these procedures, the basilar artery as well as peripheral vessels was analyzed morphologically with scanning electron microscopy. Conventional histological analysis with the use of paraffin-embedded section with hematoxylin-eosin staining was also performed, and the results were compared with those for the corrosion cast methods. Results: In the saline-injected group, SEM showed that the inner surface of the basilar artery was smooth and the form of the endothelial cell was printed on the surface of the cast. In the hemolysate-injected group, the basilar artery showed an apparent vasospasm over its entire length, and corrugation was observed on the inner surface of the basilar artery in a three-dimensional fashion. Higher magnification revealed that the nuclei of the endothelial cells were distorted. Local narrowing of the basilar artery and vasospasm in the arteries of the anterior circulation and in peripheral arteries were also observed. Measurement of the inner diameter of the basilar artery showed 37.8% contraction in the hemolysate-injected group compared with the saline- injected group: by the corrosion east method. This degree of vasospasm was similar to that observed by the conventional histological method. Conclusions: In this report we show that detailed three-dimensional observation in the rat can be performed qualitatively and quantitatively with the corrosion cast technique. We conclude that this method derives an accurate measurement of the diameter of rat major cerebral arteries and is more reliable for analyzing vasospasm in rats than angiography and other conventional procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1631-1638
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Corrosion casting
  • Rats
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Vasospasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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