International journal of developmental neuroscience : the official journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience

Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy reduces c-Fos activation in the rat hippocampus: evidence of a long-lasting effect.

PMID 25262910


The effect of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) on maturation of nociceptive pathways has been sparsely explored. To investigate whether neonatal HIE alters neuronal activity, nociceptive behavior, and serum neuroplasticity mediators (brain-derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF] and tumor necrosis factor-α [TNF]) in the short, medium, and long term. Neonate male Wistar rats were randomized to receive a brain insult that could be either ischemic (left carotid artery ligation [LCAL]), hypoxic (8% oxygen chamber), hypoxic-ischemic (LCAL and hypoxic chamber), sham-ischemic, or sham-hypoxic. Neuronal activity (c-Fos activation at region CA1 and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus), nociceptive behavior (von Frey, tail-flick, and hot-plate tests), neuroplasticity mediators (BDNF, TNF), and a cellular injury marker (lactase dehydrogenase [LDH]) were assessed in blood serum 14, 30, and 60 days after birth. Neonatal HIE persistently reduced c-Fos activation in the ipsilateral hippocampal region CA1; however, contralateral c-Fos reduction appeared only 7 weeks after the event. Neonatal HIE acutely reduced the paw withdrawal threshold (von Frey test), but this returned to normal by the 30th postnatal day. Hypoxia reduced serum LDH levels. Serum neuroplasticity mediators increased with age, and neonatal HIE did not affect their ontogeny. Neonatal HIE-induced reduction in neuronal activity occurs acutely in the ipsilateral hippocampal region CA1 and persists for at least 60 days, but the contralateral effect of the insult is delayed. Alterations in the nociceptive response are acute and self-limited. Serum neuroplasticity mediators increase with age, and remain unaffected by HIE.