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Open Access Research article

A microarray study of gene and protein regulation in human and rat brain following middle cerebral artery occlusion

Nick Mitsios1, Mohamad Saka1, Jerzy Krupinski2, Roberta Pennucci1, Coral Sanfeliu3, Qiuyu Wang1, Francisco Rubio2, John Gaffney1, Pat Kumar1, Shant Kumar4, Matthew Sullivan1 and Mark Slevin1*

Author affiliations

1 School of Biology, Chemistry and Health Science, John Dalton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester Street, Manchester, UK

2 Department of Neurology, Stroke Unit, Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge (HUB), Fundacio IDIBELL, L' Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain

3 Departamento de Farmacologia i Toxicologia, Institut d' Investigacions Biomediques de Barcelona (IIBB), CSIC-IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain

4 Department of Pathology, Medical School, University of Manchester and Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK

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Citation and License

BMC Neuroscience 2007, 8:93  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-8-93

Published: 12 November 2007



Altered gene expression is an important feature of ischemic cerebral injury and affects proteins of many functional classes. We have used microarrays to investigate the changes in gene expression at various times after middle cerebral artery occlusion in human and rat brain.


Our results demonstrated a significant difference in the number of genes affected and the time-course of expression between the two cases. The total number of deregulated genes in the rat was 335 versus 126 in the human, while, of 393 overlapping genes between the two array sets, 184 were changed only in the rat and 36 in the human with a total of 41 genes deregulated in both cases. Interestingly, the mean fold changes were much higher in the human. The expression of novel genes, including p21-activated kinase 1 (PAK1), matrix metalloproteinase 11 (MMP11) and integrase interactor 1, was further analyzed by RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Strong neuronal staining was seen for PAK1 and MMP11.


Our findings confirmed previous studies reporting that gene expression screening can detect known and unknown transcriptional features of stroke and highlight the importance of research using human brain tissue in the search for novel therapeutic agents.