A delayed increase in hippocampal proliferation following global asphyxia in the neonatal rat

Arjan Scheepens, Guido Wassink, Marrit J Piersma, Wilma D J Van de Berg, Carlos E Blanco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Adult neurogenesis has been shown to be upregulated following a wide variety of brain injury paradigms. During the first weeks of postnatal life there is around 50 fold more neurogenesis occurring than in the adult CNS, yet little is known regarding the effect of neonatal brain injury on this developmental proliferation. We have investigated the effect of a global perinatal birth asphyxia on postnatal proliferation at 2, 5, 8, 11, 15, 21 and 28 days after birth (injury) using a 3H-thymidine tracer study. We found a specific upregulation of proliferation at 5 days after the injury within the injured hippocampus only, with an associated increase in hippocampal mass and without any changes in GFAP content at any timepoint. Perinatal asphyxia did not alter proliferation within the cerebellum, sub ventricular zone, olfactory bulb, cervical or thoracic spinal cord. Similarly, no changes in corticosterone levels were induced by the injury. Since there were no changes in GFAP content we hypothesize that this increased proliferation is likely neurogenetic, similar to what is seen in the adult brain following injury. Further we show that the dramatic increase in corticosterone at the end of the stress hyporesponsive period is not responsible for the equally dramatic decrease in postnatal proliferation within the CNS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2003


  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Division/physiology
  • Central Nervous System/growth & development
  • Corticosterone/blood
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/metabolism
  • Hippocampus/growth & development
  • Hypoxia, Brain/blood
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar

Cite this