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Dev Neurobiol. 2017 Jun;77(6):726-737. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22451. Epub 2016 Nov 17.

Ischemia reduces inter-alpha inhibitor proteins in the brain of the ovine fetus.

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Department of Pediatrics, the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, RI, 02905.
ProThera Biologics, Inc, Providence, RI, 02903.


Hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury is a major cause of neurological abnormalities in the perinatal period. Inflammation contributes to the evolution of HI brain injury. Inter-alpha inhibitor proteins (IAIPs) are a family of proteins that are part of the innate immune system. We have reported that endogenous IAIPs exhibit developmental changes in ovine brain and that exogenous IAIP treatment reduces neuronal death in HI neonatal rats. However, the effects of HI on endogenous IAIPs in brain have not been previously examined. In this study, we examined the effects of ischemia-reperfusion on endogenous IAIPs levels in fetal sheep brain. Cerebral cortex, cerebellum, cervical spinal cord, choroid plexus, and CSF were snap frozen from sham control fetuses at 127 days gestation and after 30-min of carotid occlusion and 4-, 24-, and 48-h of reperfusion. IAIP levels were determined by Western immunoblot. IAIP expressions of the 250 kDa Inter-alpha inhibitor (IaI) and 125 kDa Pre-alpha inhibitor (PaI) in cerebral cortex and PaI in cerebellum were reduced (p < 0.05) 4-h after ischemia compared with controls and returned toward control levels 24- and 48-h after ischemia. CSF PaI and IaI were reduced 48 h after ischemia. We conclude that IAIPs in cerebral cortex and cerebellum are reduced by brain ischemia, and return toward control levels between 24 and 48 h after ischemia. However, changes in CSF IAIPs were delayed, exhibiting decreases 48 h after ischemia. We speculate that the decreases in endogenous IAIPs reflect increased utilization, potentially suggesting that they have endogenous neuroprotective properties.


CSF; brain; fetus; inter-alpha inhibitor proteins; ischemia-reperfusion; sheep

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