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Photochemically induced ischemic stroke in rats

Antje Schmidt1*, Maike Hoppen1, Jan-Kolja Strecker1, Kai Diederich1, Wolf-Rüdiger Schäbitz2, Matthias Schilling1 and Jens Minnerup1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurology, University of Münster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Gebäude A1, 48149, Münster, Germany

2 EVK Bielefeld, Bethel, Neurologische Klinik, Burgsteig 13, 33617, Bielefeld, Germany

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Experimental & Translational Stroke Medicine 2012, 4:13  doi:10.1186/2040-7378-4-13

Published: 9 August 2012



Photothrombosis was introduced as a model of ischemic stroke by Watson et al. in 1985. In the present paper, we describe a protocol to induce photothrombotic infarcts in rats.


The photosensitive dye Bengal Rose is intravenously administered and a laser beam is stereotactically positioned onto the skull. Illumination through the intact skull leads to local activation of Bengal Rose, which results in free radical formation, disturbance of endothelial function and thrombus formation in illuminated small cortical vessels.


Photochemically induced infarcts cause long-term sensorimotor deficits, allow long-term survival and are particularly suitable to assess the effectiveness of neuroregenerative therapies in chronic stroke studies.

Photothrombosis; Experimental stroke; Animal model