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Triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) as a marker for ischaemic changes in rat brain following permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor David Mendelow, Emeritus Professor Robert Perry


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Triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) was used to delineate ischaemic lesions in the rat brain at various times following middle cerebral artery occlusion. A comparison was made of TTC staining by immersion and perfusion techniques and conventional light microscopy. The lesions were quantified by measuring the ischaemic area at the sections corresponding to 7 mm in front of the AO line (atlas of Konig and Klippel). In animals examined 24 h after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), the area of infarction was 17.4 +/- 1.3 mm2 on the TTC perfused slices and 17.6 +/- 1.6 mm2 on the TTC immersed slices (mean +/- SEM). By contrast, there was a marked difference between the two TTC methods when tissues were examined at shorter intervals after artery occlusion. In the TTC-perfused animals, there was no significant difference between the mean areas of infarction measured at 5-20 min, 3-4 h, or 24 h post occlusion. Immersion in TTC, however, failed to reveal any consistent ischaemic damage when applied at the earlier post-occlusion times. Conventional histopathology demonstrated minimal lesions at 5-20 min but at 4 h or more the lesions were not significantly different from those demonstrated by TTC perfusion. TTC immersion staining can, thus, only be used as a reliable marker of cerebral ischaemia damage with post-occlusion survival periods of 24 h. TTC perfusion staining gives results not significantly different from histopathology at 4 h or more post-occlusion but at earlier intervals than 24 h it differs significantly from TTC immersion staining. Thus at times of less than 24 h it may reflect mainly changes in stain perfusion, rather than ischaemic damage.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hatfield RH, Mendelow AD, Perry RH, Alvarez LM, Modha P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology

Year: 1991

Volume: 17

Issue: 1

Pages: 61-67

Print publication date: 01/02/1991

ISSN (print): 0305-1846

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2990

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2990.1991.tb00694.x


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