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J Vet Med Sci. 2018 Jul 12;80(7):1116-1124. doi: 10.1292/jvms.18-0143. Epub 2018 May 4.

Histopathological study of encephalomalacia in neonatal calves and application of neuronal and axonal degeneration marker.

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Laboratory of Veterinary Pathology, Department of Basic Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
The United Graduate School of Veterinary Sciences, Gifu University, Gifu, Gifu 501-1193, Japan.
National Livestock Breeding Center, Tokachi Station, Otofuke, Hokkaido 080-0572, Japan.
National Institute of Animal Health, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0856, Japan.
Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.


Five calves that had shown neurological symptoms within 9 days after birth were histopathologically diagnosed as encephalomalacia. Two calves showed bilateral laminar cerebrocortical necrosis and neuronal necrosis in the corpus striatum and hippocampus. Since the distributional pattern of the lesions was consistent with that of global ischemia in other species, the lesions were probably hypoxic/ischemic encephalopathy consistent with the history of dystocia and perinatal asphyxia. One calf also showed bilateral laminar cerebrocortical necrosis. However, the lesions were chronic ones, because the calf had survived for long time and necropsied at postnatal day 118. Additionally, the lesions did not involve the corpus striatum and hippocampus. The other two calves showed multifocal necrosis with vascular lesions characterized by fibrin thrombi, perivascular edema and perivascular hyaline droplets in the cerebral cortex, corpus striatum, thalamus, brain stem and cerebellum. Considering the age of onsets and histopathological appearance, it was possible that latter three calves were also hypoxic/ischemic encephalopathy, however, exact cause of them was not revealed. In all calves, degenerated/necrotic neurons showed positive reactions for Fluoro-Jade C and degenerated axons showed immunoreactivity for Alzheimer precursor protein A4. Therefore, these markers were applicable to examination of brain injury in neonatal calves.


Alzheimer precursor protein A4; Fluoro-Jade C; encephalomalacia; ischemic/hypoxic encephalopathy; neonatal calf

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