Does Reelin Affect Recovery from a Stroke?
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Reelin is an extraceullular glycoprotein that modulates synaptic plasticity and increases long-term potentiation. Since Reelin has neuroprotective effects, we were interested to see if Reelin plays a role in recovery after significant neurological damage. Earlier studies with reeler mice showed that mice lacking Reelin have increased susceptibility to stroke and suffer more damage post-stroke. Since Reelin is important in neuronal migration during development, it is possible that the effects seen were due to improper brain development, instead of Reelin deficiency itself. Instead of using Reeler mice, we used the Reelin conditional knockout(cKO) mouse model. Thus, we were able to see the effects of Reelin loss while permitting normal brain development. Stroke size and post-stroke behavior were investigated after inducing transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in four-month-old Reelin cKO mice. No significant difference was seen between wild type and Reelin cKO mice in infarct size or behavior, suggesting that while Reelin does play in important function in the brain, it does not play a significant role in post-stroke recovery.