The effect of age, sex and strains on the performance and outcome in animal models of stroke

Hongxia Zhang, Siyang Lin, Xudong Chen, Lei Gu, Xiaohong Zhu, Yinuo Zhang, Kassandra Reyes, Brian Wang, Kunlin Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Stroke is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and the majority of cerebral stroke is caused by occlusion of cerebral circulation, which eventually leads to brain infarction. Although stroke occurs mainly in the aged population, most animal models for experimental stroke in vivo almost universally rely on young-adult rodents for the evaluation of neuropathological, neurological, or behavioral outcomes after stroke due to their greater availability, lower cost, and fewer health problems. However, it is well established that aged animals differ from young animals in terms of physiology, neurochemistry, and behavior. Stroke-induced changes are more pronounced with advancing age. Therefore, the overlooked role of age in animal models of stroke could have an impact on data quality and hinder the translation of rodent models to humans. In addition to aging, other factors also influence functional performance after ischemic stroke. In this article, we summarize the differences between young and aged animals, the impact of age, sex and animal strains on performance and outcome in animal models of stroke and emphasize age as a key factor in preclinical stroke studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-11
Number of pages10
JournalNeurochemistry International
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Aging
  • Ischemia stroke
  • Lifespan
  • Preclinical study
  • Risk factors


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