Cerebral palsy is a chronic childhood disorder that can have diverse etiologies. Injury to the developing brain that occurs either in utero or soon after birth can result in the motor, sensory, and cognitive deficits seen in cerebral palsy. Although the etiologies for cerebral palsy are variable, neuroinflammation plays a key role in the pathophysiology of the brain injury irrespective of the etiology. Currently, there is no effective cure for cerebral palsy. Nanomedicine offers a new frontier in the development of therapies for prevention and treatment of brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy. Nanomaterials such as dendrimers provide opportunities for the targeted delivery of multiple drugs that can mitigate several pathways involved in injury and can be delivered specifically to the cells that are responsible for neuroinflammation and injury. These materials also offer the opportunity to deliver agents that would promote repair and regeneration in the brain, resulting not only in attenuation of injury, but also enabling normal growth. In this review, the current advances in nanotechnology for treatment of brain injury are discussed with specific relevance to cerebral palsy. Future directions that would facilitate clinical translation in neonates and children are also addressed.
dendrimer; cerebral palsy; neuroinflammation; nanoparticle; neonatal brain injury; G4OH-PAMAM
Knowledge of the nature, prognosis, and ways to treat brain lesions in neonatal infants has increased remarkably. Neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) in term infants, mirrors a progressive cascade of excito-oxidative events that unfold in the brain after an asphyxial insult. In the laboratory, this cascade can be blocked to protect brain tissue through the process of neuroprotection. However, proof of a clinical effect was lacking until the publication of three positive randomised controlled trials of moderate hypothermia for term infants with HIE. These results have greatly improved treatment prospects for babies with asphyxia and altered understanding of the theory of neuroprotection. The studies show that moderate hypothermia within 6 h of asphyxia improves survival without cerebral palsy or other disability by about 40% and reduces death or neurological disability by nearly 30%. The search is on to discover adjuvant treatments that can further enhance the effects of hypothermia.
Cerebral palsy will affect nearly 10% of the 60,000 very-low-birth-weight infants born in the United States in the next year, and an even greater percentage will display some form of permanent neurological impairment resulting from injury to the preterm brain. The 2008 Neurobiology of Disease in Children Symposium, held in conjunction with the 37th annual meeting of the Child Neurology Society, aimed to define current knowledge and to develop specific aims for future clinical, translational, and fundamental science. A complex interplay of both destructive and developmental forces is responsible for injury to the preterm brain. Advances in imaging and histology have implicated a variety of cell types, though pre-oligodendrocyte injury remains the focus. Research into different mechanisms of injury is facilitating new neuroprotective and rehabilitative interventions. A cooperative effort is necessary to translate basic research findings into clinically effective therapies and better care for these children.
cerebral palsy; molecular mechanisms; translational research
► Our study provides new insights into the pre-regressional development of RTT. ► The pre-regression period should not be considered asymptomatic. ► Peculiarities in speech-language development are potential red flags for RTT.
We delineated the achievement of early speech-language milestones in 15 young children with Rett syndrome (MECP2 positive) in the first two years of life using retrospective video analysis. By contrast to the commonly accepted concept that these children are normal in the pre-regression period, we found markedly atypical development of speech-language capacities, suggesting a paradigm shift in the pathogenesis of Rett syndrome and a possible approach to its early detection.
Rett syndrome; Preserved speech variant; Speech-language development; Milestones; Video analysis; Regression
Hypoxia-ischemia in the perinatal period is an important cause of cerebral palsy and associated disabilities in children. There has been significant research progress in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy over the last two decades and many new molecular mechanisms have been identified. Despite all these advances, therapeutic interventions are still limited. In this review paper, we discuss a number of molecular pathways involved in hypoxia-ischemia, and potential therapeutic targets.
Hypoxia ischemia; neonatal encephalopathy; apoptosis; oxidative stress; hypothermia
Despite recent advances in neonatal care and monitoring, asphyxia globally accounts for 23% of the 4 million annual deaths of newborns, and leads to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Occurring in five of 1000 live-born infants globally and even more in developing countries, HIE is a serious problem that causes death in 25%–50% of affected neonates and neurological disability to at least 25% of survivors. In order to prevent the damage caused by HIE, our invention provides an effective whole-body cooling of the neonates by utilizing evaporation and an endothermic reaction. Our device is composed of basic electronics, clay pots, sand, and urea-based instant cold pack powder. A larger clay pot, lined with nearly 5 cm of sand, contains a smaller pot, where the neonate will be placed for therapeutic treatment. When the sand is mixed with instant cold pack urea powder and wetted with water, the device can extract heat from inside to outside and maintain the inner pot at 17°C for more than 24 hours with monitoring by LED lights and thermistors. Using a piglet model, we confirmed that our device fits the specific parameters of therapeutic hypothermia, lowering the body temperature to 33.5°C with a 1°C margin of error. After the therapeutic hypothermia treatment, warming is regulated by adjusting the amount of water added and the location of baby inside the device. Our invention uniquely limits the amount of electricity required to power and operate the device compared with current expensive and high-tech devices available in the United States. Our device costs a maximum of 40 dollars and is simple enough to be used in neonatal intensive care units in developing countries.
therapeutic hypothermia; evaporative cooling; hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; birth asphyxia; neuroprotection
Neonatal stroke presents with seizures that are usually treated with phenobarbital. We hypothesized that anticonvulsants would attenuate ischemic injury, but that the dose-dependent effects of standard anticonvulsants would impact important age-dependent and injury-dependent consequences. In this study, ischemia induced by unilateral carotid ligation in postnatal day 12 (P12) CD1 mice was immediately followed by an i.p. dose of vehicle, low-dose or high-dose phenobarbital. Severity of acute behavioral seizures was scored. 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine (BrdU) was administered from P18-P20, behavioral testing performed, and mice perfused at P40. Atrophy quantification and counts of BrdU/NeuN-labeled cells in the dentate gyrus were performed. Blood phenobarbital concentrations were measured. 30 mg/kg phenobarbital reduced acute seizures and chronic brain injury, and restored normal weight gain and exploratory behavior. By comparison, 60 mg/kg was a less efficacious anticonvulsant, was not neuroprotective, did not restore normal weight gain, and impaired behavioral and cognitive recovery. Hippocampal neurogenesis was not different between treatment groups. These results suggest a protective effect of lower-dose phenobarbital, but a lack of this effect at higher concentrations after stroke in P12 mice.
phenobarbital; anticonvulsant; neuroprotection; neurogenesis; behavioral testing; dose-dependence
Periventricular leukomalacia, PVL, is the leading cause of cerebral palsy in prematurely born infants, and therefore more effective interventions are required. The objective of this study was to develop an ischemic injury model of PVL in mice and to determine the feasibility of in vivo magnetization transfer (MT) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a potential monitoring tool for the evaluation of disease severity and experimental therapeutics. Neonatal CD-1 mice underwent unilateral carotid artery ligation on postnatal day 5 (P5); at P60, in vivo T2-weighted (T2w) and MT-MRI were performed and correlated with postmortem histopathology. In vivo T2w MRI showed thinning of the right corpus callosum, but no significant changes in hippocampal and hemispheric volumes. Magnetization transfer MRI revealed significant white matter abnormalities in the bilateral corpus callosum and internal capsule. These quantitative MT-MRI changes correlated highly with postmortem findings of reduced myelin basic protein in bilateral white matter tracts. Ventriculomegaly and persistent astrogliosis were observed on the ligated side, along with evidence of axonopathy and fewer oligodendrocytes in the corpus callosum. We present an ischemia-induced mouse model of PVL, which has pathologic abnormalities resembling autopsy reports in infants with PVL. We further validate in vivo MRI techniques as quantitative monitoring tools that highly correlate with postmortem histopathology.
brain ischemia; glial cells; MRI; perinatal hypoxia; white matter disease
This is a protocol for derivation of glial restricted precursor (GRP) cells from the spinal cord of E13 mouse fetuses. These cells are early precursors within the oligodendrocytic cell lineage. Recently, these cells have been studied as potential source for restorative therapies in white matter diseases. Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is the leading cause of non-genetic white matter disease in childhood and affects up to 50% of extremely premature infants. The data suggest a heightened susceptibility of the developing brain to hypoxia-ischemia, oxidative stress and excitotoxicity that selectively targets nascent white matter. Glial restricted precursors (GRP), oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPC) and immature oligodendrocytes (preOL) seem to be key players in the development of PVL and are the subject of continuing studies. Furthermore, previous studies have identified a subset of CNS tissue that has increased susceptibility to glutamate excitotoxicity as well as a developmental pattern to this susceptibility. Our laboratory is currently investigating the role of oligodendrocyte progenitors in PVL and use cells at the GRP stage of development. We utilize these derived GRP cells in several experimental paradigms to test their response to select stresses consistent with PVL. GRP cells can be manipulated in vitro into OPCs and preOL for transplantation experiments with mouse PVL models and in vitro models of PVL-like insults including hypoxia-ischemia. By using cultured cells and in vitro studies there would be reduced variability between experiments which facilitates interpretation of the data. Cultured cells also allows for enrichment of the GRP population while minimizing the impact of contaminating cells of non-GRP phenotype.
Neuroscience; Issue 64; Physiology; Medicine; periventricular leukomalacia; oligodendrocytes; glial restricted precursors; spinal cord; cell culture
Objective. To review the recent literature on the clinical features, genetic mutations, neurobiology associated with dysregulation of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), and clinical trials for tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1) and fragile X syndrome (FXS), and phosphatase and tensin homolog hamartoma syndromes (PTHS), which are neurogenetic disorders associated with abnormalities in synaptic plasticity and mTOR signaling. Methods. Pubmed and Clinicaltrials.gov were searched using specific search strategies. Results/Conclusions. Although traditionally thought of as irreversible disorders, significant scientific progress has been made in both humans and preclinical models to understand how pathologic features of these neurogenetic disorders can be reduced or reversed. This paper revealed significant similarities among the conditions. Not only do they share features of impaired synaptic plasticity and dysregulation of mTOR, but they also share clinical features—autism, intellectual disability, cutaneous lesions, and tumors. Although scientific advances towards discovery of effective treatment in some disorders have outpaced others, progress in understanding the signaling pathways that connect the entire group indicates that the lesser known disorders will become treatable as well.
Prolonged hypothermic circulatory arrest results in neuronal cell death and neurologic injury. We have previously shown that hypothermic circulatory arrest causes both neuronal apoptosis and necrosis in a canine model. Inhibition of neuronal nitric oxide synthase reduced neuronal apoptosis, while glutamate receptor antagonism reduced necrosis in our model. This study was undertaken to determine whether glutamate receptor antagonism reduces nitric oxide formation and neuronal apoptosis after hypothermic circulatory arrest.
Sixteen hound dogs underwent 2 hours of circulatory arrest at 18°C and were sacrificed after 8 hours. Group 1 (n=8) was treated with MK-801, 0.75 mg/kg IV prior to arrest followed by 75 μg/kg/hr infusion. Group 2 dogs (n=8) received vehicle only. Intracerebral levels of excitatory amino acids and citrulline, an equal co-product of nitric oxide, were measured. Apoptosis, identified by H&E staining and confirmed by electron microscopy, was blindly scored from 0 (normal) to 100 (severe injury), while nick-end labeling demonstrated DNA fragmentation.
Group 1 and 2 dogs had similar intracerebral levels of glutamate. However, MK-801 significantly reduced intracerebral glycine and citrulline levels as compared to HCA controls. MK-801 significantly inhibited apoptosis (7.92 ± 7.85 vs. 62.08 ± 6.28, Group 1 vs. 2, p<0.001).
Our results showed that glutamate receptor antagonism significantly reduced nitric oxide formation and neuronal apoptosis. We provide evidence that glutamate excitotoxicity mediates neuronal apoptosis in addition to necrosis after hypothermic circulatory arrest. Clinical glutamate receptor antagonists may have therapeutic benefit in ameliorating both types of neurologic injury after hypothermic circulatory arrest.
Animal Model; Apoptosis; Brain; Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest; Nitric Oxide
Neuronal death pathways following hypoxia–ischaemia are sexually dimorphic, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. We examined cell death mechanisms during OGD (oxygen-glucose deprivation) followed by Reox (reoxygenation) in segregated male (XY) and female (XX) mouse primary CGNs (cerebellar granule neurons) that are WT (wild-type) or Parp-1 [poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1] KO (knockout). Exposure of CGNs to OGD (1.5 h)/Reox (7 h) caused cell death in XY and XX neurons, but cell death during Reox was greater in XX neurons. ATP levels were significantly lower after OGD/Reox in WT-XX neurons than in XY neurons; this difference was eliminated in Parp-1 KO-XX neurons. AIF (apoptosis-inducing factor) was released from mitochondria and translocated to the nucleus by 1 h exclusively in WT-XY neurons. In contrast, there was a release of Cyt C (cytochrome C) from mitochondria in WT-XX and Parp-1 KO neurons of both sexes; delayed activation of caspase 3 was observed in the same three groups. Thus deletion of Parp-1 shunted cell death towards caspase 3-dependent apoptosis. Delayed activation of caspase 8 was also observed in all groups after OGD/Reox, but was much greater in XX neurons, and caspase 8 translocated to the nucleus in XX neurons only. Caspase 8 activation may contribute to increased XX neuronal death during Reox, via caspase 3 activation. Thus, OGD/Reox induces death of XY neurons via a PARP-1-AIF-dependent mechanism, but blockade of PARP-1-AIF pathway shifts neuronal death towards a caspase-dependent mechanism. In XX neurons, OGD/Reox caused prolonged depletion of ATP and delayed activation of caspase 8 and caspase 3, culminating in greater cell death during Reox.
apoptosis; caspase 3; caspase 8; hypoxia–ischaemia; neuronal death; sexual dimorphism; AIF, apoptosis-inducing factor; AM: acetoxymethyl ester, ; CGN, cerebellar granule neuron; Cyt C, cytochrome c; DAPI, 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; DIV 9, 9 days in vitro; HBSS, Hanks' balanced salt solution; HI, hypoxia–ischaemia; HRP, horseradish peroxidase; KO, knockout; LDH, lactate dehydrogenase; MB, mitochondrial buffer; OGD, oxygen-glucose deprivation; PI, propidium iodide; pNA, p-nitroaniline; Parp-1/PARP-1, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1; Reox, reoxygenation; TUNEL, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling; VDAC, voltage-dependent anion channel; WT, wild-type
Little is known about the molecular mechanisms of neurologic complications after hypothermic circulatory arrest (HCA) with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Canine genome sequencing allows profiling of genomic changes after HCA and CPB alone. We hypothesize that gene regulation will increase with increased severity of injury.
Dogs underwent 2-hour HCA at 18°C (n = 10), 1-hour HCA (n = 8), or 2-hour CPB at 32°C alone (n = 8). In each group, half were sacrificed at 8 hours and half at 24 hours after treatment. After neurologic scoring, brains were harvested for genomic analysis. Hippocampal RNA isolates were analyzed using canine oligonucleotide expression arrays containing 42,028 probes.
Consistent with prior work, dogs that underwent 2-hour HCA experienced severe neurologic injury. One hour of HCA caused intermediate clinical damage. Cardiopulmonary bypass alone yielded normal clinical scores. Cardiopulmonary bypass, 1-hour HCA, and 2-hour HCA groups historically demonstrated increasing degrees of histopathologic damage (previously published). Exploratory analysis revealed differences in significantly regulated genes (false discovery rate < 10%, absolute fold change ≥ 1.2), with increases in differential gene expression with injury severity. At 8 hours and 24 hours after insult, 2-hour HCA dogs had 502 and 1,057 genes regulated, respectively; 1-hour HCA dogs had 179 and 56 genes regulated; and CPB alone dogs had 5 and 0 genes regulated.
Our genomic profile of canine brains after HCA and CPB revealed 1-hour and 2-hour HCA induced markedly increased gene regulation, in contrast to the minimal effect of CPB alone. This adds to the body of neurologic literature supporting the safety of CPB alone and the minimal effect of CPB on a normal brain, while illuminating genomic results of both.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is frequently linked to white matter injury in children born preterm. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a powerful technique providing precise identification of white matter microstructure. We investigated the relationship between DTI-observed thalamocortical (posterior thalamic radiation) injury, motor (corticospinal tract) injury, and sensorimotor function.
Twenty-eight children born preterm(16 males, 12 females; mean age 5y 10mo, SD 2y 6mo, range 16mo–13y; mean gestational age at birth 28wks, SD 2.7wks, range 23–34wks) were included in this case–control study. Twenty-one children had spastic diplegia, four had spastic quadriplegia, two had hemiplegia, and one had ataxic hypotonic CP; 15 of the participants walked independently. Normative comparison data were obtained from 35 healthy age-matched children born at term(19 males, 16 females; mean age 5y 9mo, SD 4y 4mo, range 15mo–15y). Two-dimensional DTI color maps were created to evaluate 26 central white matter tracts, which were graded by a neuroradiologist masked to clinical status. Quantitative measures of touch, proprioception, strength (dynamometer), and spasticity (modified Ashworth scale) were obtained from a subset of participants.
All 28 participants with CP had periventricular white-matter injury on magnetic resonance imaging. Using DTI color maps, there was more severe injury in the posterior thalamic radiation pathways than in the descending corticospinal tracts. Posterior thalamic radiation injury correlated with reduced contralateral touch threshold, proprioception, and motor severity, whereas corticospinal tract injury did not correlate with motor or sensory outcome measures.
These findings extend previous research demonstrating that CP in preterm children reflects disruption of thalamocortical connections as well as descending corticospinal pathways.
Stroke is an important cause of neurologic injury in the neonatal period and frequently results in lifelong neurologic impairments. We reported previously that unilateral carotid ligation on postnatal day (P)12 in CD1 mice causes acute behavioral seizures and unilateral brain injury and provides a model for neonatal stroke in human infants. In the present study we confirmed that behavioral seizures observed after ligation on P12 in the CD1 strain are associated with rhythmic ictal discharges that show temporal progression on electrocorticograms. We also examined the effects of carotid ligation performed at different ages in CD1 mice or performed in the C57Bl/6 strain. The right common carotid was ligated at P7, P10, P12 or P21 in CD1 mice or at P12 in C57Bl/6 mice. Littermate controls received sham surgery. Seizures were rated for 4 h after surgery; brain injury was scored one week later. In a separate group of P12 CD1 mice, electrocorticographic activity was recorded continuously for 4 h after carotid ligation or sham surgery. Brain injury and cumulative seizure score varied significantly with age (p<0.001) and strain (p<0.001). In CD1 mice, injury was greatest after ligation on P10 to P12 and seizure score was maximal at P12. Seizure scores were significantly correlated with injury after ligation on P10 or P12. C57Bl/6 mice, like C3Heb/FeJ mice examined previously, were much less vulnerable to seizures and injury than CD1 mice after ligation on P12. This study demonstrates that carotid ligation in the CD1 mouse on P12 causes acute electrographic rhythmic discharges that correlate with behavioral seizures. We also found that the age at which ligation is performed and genetic strain have a strong influence on the severity of injury.
ischemia; neonatal stroke; immature brain; seizures; electrographic discharges; ECoG
Stroke in term neonates remains a significant cause of long-term neurological morbidity. This study was designed to assess the relationships between ischemic stroke induced by permanent unilateral carotid ligation in P12 CD1 mice and the structural and functional outcomes in the young mice as a consequence.
After P12 ischemic strokes, mice were behaviorally tested using accelerated rotorod, spontaneous alternation on a T-maze, open-field, and cylinder tests between P33 and P39. Brain injury was scored by histology at P40 with cresyl violet-stained coronal sections and computerized quantification of the ischemic injury.
The ligation-injured mice were not different from controls on cylinder testing for asymmetric use of their forelimb, or on rotorod measures. In the spontaneous alternation task, however, injured mice demonstrated significantly lower rates of alternation indicating a deficit in working memory. Open-field testing repeated on two consecutive days revealed that the ligated mice were less active than the controls and that they failed to habituate to the open field environment between sessions indicating a learning deficit. Overall, our results demonstrate that ischemia induced by our neonatal stroke model produces behavioral deficits that are consistent with the brain injury.
Neonatal; Mice; Stroke; Rotorod; Cylinder test; T-maze; Open-field behavior
The child’s brain is more malleable or plastic than that of adults and this accounts for the ability of children to learn new skills quickly or recovery from brain injuries. Several mechanisms contribute to this ability including overproduction and deletion of neurons and synapses, and activity-dependent stabilization of synapses. The molecular mechanisms for activity dependent synaptic plasticity are being discovered and this is leading to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of several disorders including neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, Fragile X syndrome and Rett syndrome. Many of the same pathways involved in synaptic plasticity, such as glutamate-mediated excitation, can also mediate brain injury when the brain is exposed to stress or energy failure such as hypoxia-ischemia. Recent evidence indicates that cell death pathways activated by injury differ between males and females. This new information about the molecular pathways involved in brain plasticity and injury are leading to insights that will provide better therapies for pediatric neurological disorders.
Plasticity; Injury; Fragile X Syndrome; Rett Syndrome; Hypoxia-Ischemia; NMDA; AMPA; Periventricular Leukomalacia
Rett syndrome (RTT) is associated with mutations in the transcriptional repressor gene MeCP2. Although the clinical and neuropathological signs of RTT suggest disrupted synaptic function, the specific role of MeCP2 in postmitotic neurons remains relatively unknown. We examined whether MeCP2 deficiency in central neurons contributes to the neuropathogenesis in RTT. Primary cerebellar granule neuronal cultures from wildtype (WT) and MeCP2−/− mice were exposed to NMDA and AMPA-induced excitotoxicity and hypoxic-ischemic insult. The magnitude of cell death in MeCP2−/− cells after excitotoxicity and hypoxia was greater than in the WT littermate control cultures and occurred after shorter exposures that usually, in the WT, would not cause cell death. Pretreatment with the growth factor fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF-1) under conditions at which WT cells showed complete neuroprotection, only partially protected MeCP2−/−cells. To elucidate specifically the effects of MeCP2 knockout (KO) on cell death, we examined two death cascade pathways. MeCP2−/− neurons exposed to 6 h of hypoxia exhibited enhanced activation of the proapoptotic caspase-3 and increased mitochondrial release of AIF compared to WT neurons, which did not show significant changes. However, pretreatment with the caspase inhibitor ZVAD-FMK had little or no effect on AIF release and its subcellular translocation to the nucleus, suggesting caspase-independent AIF release and their independent contribution to hypoxia-induced cell death. Reintroduction of intact MeCP2 gene in MeCP2−/− cells or MeCP2 gene silencing by MeCP2siRNA in WT cells further confirmed the differential sensitivity of the WT and MeCP2−/− cells and suggest a direct role of MeCP2 in cell death. These results clearly demonstrate increased cell death occurred in neurons lacking MeCP2 expression via both caspase- and AIF-dependent apoptotic mechanisms. Our findings suggest a novel, yet unknown, role for MeCP2 in central neurons in the control of neuronal response to cell death.
apoptosis; apoptosis inducing factor; cell death; cerebellar granule neurons; hypoxia; excitotoxicity; caspase-3; MeCP2 knockout
Stroke is a major cause of neurologic morbidity in neonates and children. Since neonatal and pediatric stroke frequently present with seizures, the question of which anticonvulsant best blocks acute ischemic seizures and reduces injury is clinically relevant. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which gabapentin is neuroprotective and suppresses acute seizures in this model of ischemic injury in the immature brain. Postnatal day 12 CD1 mice underwent right common carotid artery ligation and immediately after ligation received a 0, 50, 100, 150, or 200 mg/kg dose of gabapentin intraperitoneally. Acute seizure activity was behaviorally scored and hemispheric brain atrophy measured. In vehicle treated mice, severity of acute seizures correlated with hemispheric brain atrophy four weeks later. Gabapentin significantly decreased acute seizures at 200 mg/kg and reduced brain atrophy at doses of 150 and 200 mg/kg but not at lower doses. These results suggest that gabapentin effectively reduces acute seizures and injury after ischemia in the immature brain. When analyzed by animal sex, the data suggest that gabapentin may more effectively reduce acute seizures and injury in male pups versus female pups.
ischemia; seizures; mouse pup; carotid ligation; gabapentin; immature mouse brain ischemia; ischemic seizures; neuroprotection
The development of specific biomarkers to aid in diagnosis and prognosis of neuronal injury is of paramount importance in cardiac surgery. Alpha II-spectrin is a structural protein abundant in neurons of the central nervous system and cleaved into signature fragments by proteases involved in necrotic and apoptotic cell death. We measured cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) alpha II-spectrin breakdown products (αII-SBDP’s) in a canine model of hypothermic circulatory arrest (HCA) and cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB).
Canine subjects were exposed to either 1 hour of HCA (n=8, mean lowest tympanic temperature 18.0 ± 1.2 °C), or standard CPB (n=7). CSF samples were collected prior to treatment and 8 and 24 hours post-treatment. Using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting, SBDP’s were isolated and compared between groups using computer-assisted densitometric scanning. Necrotic versus apoptotic cell death was indexed by measuring calpain and caspase-3 cleaved αII-SBDP’s (SBDP 145+150 and SBDP 120, respectively).
Animals undergoing HCA demonstrated mild patterns of histological cellular injury and clinically detectable neurologic dysfunction. Calpain-produced αII-SBDP (150kDa+145kDa bands-necrosis) 8 hours post HCA, were significantly increased (p=0.02) as compared to levels prior to HCA and remained elevated at 24 hours post HCA. In contrast caspase-3 αII-SBDP (120kDa band-apoptosis) were not significantly increased. Animals receiving CPB did not demonstrate clinical or histological evidence of injury, with no increases in necrotic or apoptotic cellular markers.
We report the use of αII-SBDP’s as markers of neurological injury following cardiac surgery. Our analysis demonstrates that Calpain and Caspase produced αII-SBDP’s may be an important and novel marker of neurologic injury following HCA.
Brain Injury; cardiac surgery; neuroprotection; hypothermic circulatory arrest; biomarkers
Ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal esterase-L1 (UCHL1) is a protein highly selectively expressed in neurons and has been linked to neurodegenerative disease in humans. We hypothesize that UCHL1 would be an effective serum biomarker for brain injury as tested in canine models of hypothermic circulatory arrest (HCA) and cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB).
Canines were exposed to CPB (n=14), 1 hour(h) HCA (n=11), or 2h-HCA (n=20). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum were collected at baseline, 8h, and 24h post-treatment. UCHL1 levels were measured using a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Neurological function and histopathology were scored at 24h, and UCHL1 immunoreactivity was examined at 8h.
Baseline UCHL1 protein levels in CSF and serum were similar for all groups. In serum, UCHL1 levels were elevated at 8h post-treatment for 2h-HCA subjects compared to baseline values (p<0.01), and also compared to CPB canines at 8h (p<0.01). A serum UCHL1 level above 3.9ng/(mg total protein) at 8h had the best discriminatory power for predicting functional disability. In CSF, UCHL1 was elevated in all groups at 8h post-treatment compared to baseline (p<0.01). However, UCHL1 levels in CSF remained elevated at 24h only in 2h-HCA subjects (p<0.01). Functional and histopathology scores were closely correlated (Pearson’s coefficient: 0.66; p<0.01), and were significantly worse in 2h-HCA animals.
This is the first report associating elevated serum UCHL1 with brain injury. The novel neuronal biomarker UCHL1 is increased in serum 8h after severe neurological insult in 2h-HCA animals compared with CPB animals. These results support the potential for use in cardiac surgery patients, and form the basis for clinical correlation in humans.
Animal Model; Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB); Biomarker; Hypothermia/circulatory arrest; Neurology/Neurologic injury
A consecutive case series of 55 children (0-17 years old) with arterial ischemic stroke is reported. Twenty of these children were critically ill at the time their stroke occurred. Mortality among these 20 children was 40%, as compared to 3% in non-critically ill children with arterial ischemic stroke; overall mortality in this case series was 16%. Mortality resulted primarily from the underlying illness. Prognosis after stroke is markedly worsened in children with premorbid critical illness.