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Cell Death Differ. 2005 Feb;12(2):162-76.

The influence of age on apoptotic and other mechanisms of cell death after cerebral hypoxia-ischemia.

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Department of Physiology, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.


Unilateral hypoxia-ischemia (HI) was induced in C57/BL6 male mice on postnatal day (P) 5, 9, 21 and 60, corresponding developmentally to premature, term, juvenile and adult human brains, respectively. HI duration was adjusted to obtain a similar extent of brain injury at all ages. Apoptotic mechanisms (nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor, cytochrome c release and caspase-3 activation) were several-fold more pronounced in immature than in juvenile and adult brains. Necrosis-related calpain activation was similar at all ages. The CA1 subfield shifted from apoptosis-related neuronal death at P5 and P9 to necrosis-related calpain activation at P21 and P60. Oxidative stress (nitrotyrosine formation) was also similar at all ages. Autophagy, as judged by the autophagosome-related marker LC-3 II, was more pronounced in adult brains. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating developmental regulation of AIF-mediated cell death as well as involvement of autophagy in a model of brain injury.

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