Stimulation of the subthalamic vasodilator area and fastigial nucleus independently protects the brain against focal ischemia

Sara B. Glickstein, Christopher P. Ilch, Donald J. Reis, Eugene V. Golanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


We investigated whether stimulation of the functionally discrete subthalamic region, subthalamic cerebrovasodilator area (SVA), which increases cerebral blood flow (CBF) when excited, would, like stimulation of cerebellar fastigial nucleus (FN), produce central neurogenic neuroprotection. A 1-h electrical stimulation of SVA or FN reduced infarctions triggered by permanent occlusion of middle cerebral artery (MCA) by 48-55% in Sprague-Dawley rats and by 59% in Fisher rats. The salvaging effect of SVA stimulation, similar to FN, was long lasting and reduced the volume of infarctions placed 72 h or 10 days later by 58 and 26%, respectively, in Fisher rats. Bilateral lesioning of FN neurons by the microinjection of ibotenic acid 5 days before SVA stimulation did not affect SVA-evoked neuroprotection. Bilateral lesions of SVA neurons administered 5 days before FN stimulation had no effect on FN-induced neuroprotection but reversed the stimulus-locked increase in CBF accompanying FN stimulation. This study demonstrates that (1) excitation of neurons and/or fibers projecting through the SVA reduces ischemic infarctions as substantially as excitation of FN neurons; (2) the effects are long-lasting and not attributable to increases in cerebral blood flow, changes in blood gases or brain temperature, or rat strain; (3) the neuroprotective effects of SVA and FN stimulation are mutually independent and (4) FN-evoked cerebrovasodilation is mediated by SVA neurons. The SVA and FN are part of a neuronal system in CNS, which is distributed and, when excited, acts to protect the brain from ischemic injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 31 2001


  • Brain infarction
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Conditioning
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Neuroprotection
  • Thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Stimulation of the subthalamic vasodilator area and fastigial nucleus independently protects the brain against focal ischemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this