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Brain Behav Immun. 2010 Jul;24(5):850-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2009.09.003. Epub 2009 Sep 11.

Mild neonatal hypoxia-ischemia induces long-term motor- and cognitive impairments in mice.

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Department of Psychoneuroimmunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


To understand and potentially treat the lifelong cognitive and motor deficits in humans resulting from perinatal mild cerebral hypoxic-ischemic (HI) events, valid animal models are of high importance. Nowadays the murine model of neonatal cerebral HI-injury (unilateral carotid artery occlusion followed by hypoxia) is applied more frequently. In the present study we investigated motor, behavioral and cognitive functioning in mice with mild cerebral HI-injury (45 min of hypoxia; HI-45) in comparison to mice exposed to severe HI (HI-75) and sham-control mice. Lateralizing motor disturbances as measured using the cylinder rearing test developed in both HI-45 and HI-75 mice and was significantly more severe in HI-75 animals. To assess behavior and cognitive functions, we used the modified hole board (mHB) test in two stages. First, the ability of the animals to find the three food rewards in cued holes over time was determined. The results revealed an overall learning impairment in HI-75 mice, while HI-45 mice were not different from sham controls. In the second stage, a reversal test was performed with rewarded cylinders being non-cued and non-rewarded cylinders being cued. This reversal-task revealed impairments in cognitive flexibility in HI-45 mice as compared to sham-control animals. Our data indicate that both the cylinder rearing task and the two stages of the mHB are suitable behavioral approaches to differentiate consequences of neonatal mild and severe brain damage on executive functioning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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