Maternal endotoxin exposure results in abnormal neuronal architecture in the newborn rabbit

Bindu Balakrishnan, Hui Dai, James Janisse, Roberto Romero, Sujatha Kannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Maternal intrauterine inflammation/infection is a potential risk factor for the development of neurologic disorders such as cerebral palsy (CP) in preterm and term infants. CP is associated with white matter and grey matter injury. In the current study, we used a rabbit model of CP in which pregnant rabbits are administered intrauterine injections of the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide. We then investigated the extent of neuronal damage in the newborn kit brain. We observed an overall decrease in the number of MAP2-stained neurons and an increase in Fluoro-Jade C-stained cells in the anterior thalamus of 1-day-old rabbit brain. We also observed an overall decrease in the number of branching points and spine density in the retrosplenial cortex, a major output region of the anterior thalamus that is involved in cognition and memory. The loss of spines and dendritic atrophy in the retrosplenial cortex may be caused by loss of presynaptic input from the thalamus. Our study indicates that the cognitive impairments seen in patients with CP may be related to the degeneration of neurons and abnormal arborization of the thalamic and cortical neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-405
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Neuroscience
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Dendrites
  • Dendritic spine
  • Maternal intrauterine inflammation
  • Neuronal injury
  • Perinatal brain injury
  • Thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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