Chronic stress induced disruption of the peri-infarct neurovascular unit following experimentally induced photothrombotic stroke Academic Article uri icon


  • How stress influences brain repair is an issue of considerable importance, as patients recovering from stroke are known to experience high and often unremitting levels of stress post-event. In the current study, we investigated how chronic stress modified the key cellular components of the neurovascular unit. Using an experimental model of focal cortical ischemia in male C57BL/6 mice, we examined how exposure to a persistently aversive environment, induced by the application of chronic restraint stress, altered the cortical remodeling post-stroke. We focused on systematically investigating changes in the key components of the neurovascular unit (i.e. neurons, microglia, astrocytes, and blood vessels) within the peri-infarct territories using both immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. The results from our study indicated that exposure to chronic stress exerted a significant suppressive effect on each of the key cellular components involved in neurovascular remodeling. Co-incident with these cellular changes, we observed that chronic stress was associated with an exacerbation of motor impairment 42 days post-event. Collectively, these results highlight the vulnerability of the peri-infarct neurovascular unit to the negative effects of chronic stress.


publication date

  • 2017