Mechanisms of brain injury in intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) of premature infants are elusive, and no therapeutic strategy exists to prevent brain damage in these infants. Therefore, we developed an in vitro organotypic forebrain slice culture model to advance mechanistic studies and therapeutic developments for this disorder. We cultured forebrain slices from E29 rabbit pups and treated the cultured slices (CS) with moderate (50 μl) or large (100 μl) amounts of autologous blood to mimic moderate and severe IVH. Blood-induced damage to CS was evaluated by propidium iodide staining, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels, microglial density, neuronal degeneration, myelination, and gliosis over 2 weeks after the initiation of culture. CS were viable for at least 14 days in vitro (DIV). The application of blood induced significant neural cell degeneration. Degenerating cells were more abundant and LDH levels were elevated in a dose-dependent manner in CS treated with 50 versus 100 μl of blood compared with untreated controls. Microglial density was higher in blood-treated CS compared with controls at both 7 and 14 days posttreatment, and myelination was reduced and gliosis enhanced. Selective application of blood fractions revealed that CS treated with plasma displayed more hypomyelination and gliosis compared with erythrocyte-treated slices. This study develops and characterizes a novel rabbit forebrain slice culture model of IVH that exhibits neuropatholgical changes similar to those in human infants with IVH. Importantly, plasma appears to induce greater white matter damage than erythrocytes in IVH,indicating plasma as a source of neurotoxic components.