The mRNA expression profiles of differentially expressed genes. Both the upregulated (A) and downregulated (B) genes were selected randomly. Gel images on top show the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) product bands stained with ethidium bromide; the band intensities are also presented graphically below for clarity. Lane numbers 1 to 8 indicate sham control (lanes 1, 2, 5, and 6) and permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (PMCAO) treatment (lanes 3, 4, 7, and 8), respectively. P indicates pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) treatment; C is the control (minus PACAP). GAPDH and beta-actin genes were used a positive control (C). Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was performed as described in Methods, and the specific 3’-UTR primers are detailed in Additional file 2: Table S2.