Insults to the developing brain often result in irreparable damage resulting in long-term deficits in motor and cognitive functions. The only treatment today for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) in newborns is hypothermia, which has limited clinical benefit. We have studied changes to the blood-brain barriers (BBB) as well as regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in a neonatal model of HIE to further understand the underlying pathologic mechanisms. Nine-day old mice pups, brain roughly equivalent to the near-term human fetus, were subjected to hypoxia-ischemia. Hypoxia-ischemia increased BBB permeability to small and large molecules within hours after the insult, which normalized in the following days. The opening of the BBB was associated with changes to BBB protein expression whereas gene transcript levels were increased showing direct molecular damage to the BBB but also suggesting compensatory mechanisms. Brain pathology was closely related to reductions in rCBF during the hypoxia as well as the areas with compromised BBB showing that these are intimately linked. The transient opening of the BBB after the insult is likely to contribute to the pathology but at the same time provides an opportunity for therapeutics to better reach the infarcted areas in the brain.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Disease Models, Animal
Gene Expression Regulation
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