Different mechanisms of secondary neuronal damage in thalamic nuclei after focal cerebral ischemia in rats
Pure cortical infarcts after photothrombotic ischemia, without major edema and without effects on the globus pallidus of the basal ganglia, only lead to secondary VPN damage that is possibly due to retrograde degeneration. MCAO, which results in infarction of cortex and globus pallidus and which causes widespread edema, leads to secondary damage in the VPN and RTN. Thus, additional RTN damage may be due to loss of protective GABAergic input from the globus pallidus to the RTN or due to the extensive edema. Retrograde degeneration is not possible because the RTN, in contrast to the VPN, has no efferents to the cortex.