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Pediatr Res. 1995 Jan;37(1):15-20.

Expression of c-fos, tyrosine hydroxylase, and neuropeptide mRNA in the rat brain around birth: effects of hypoxia and hypothermia.

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Department of Biochemistry, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Arousal at birth is likely to be accompanied by changes in gene expression patterns in the brain. We analyzed the expression levels of genes that may be involved in neonatal adaptation. We have also tried to dissect the effect of hypoxia and hypothermia, two components that may play a role in gene expression at birth. Therefore, we analyzed the expression patterns of the c-fos, tyrosine hydroxylase, enkephalin, preprotachykinin-A, and neuropeptide Y genes in various brain regions of rat pups at various time points after cesarean section under normal conditions and after exposure to hypoxia and hypothermia. We found that c-fos RNA was up-regulated transiently after birth in neocortex, midbrain, and pons-medulla with a maximum of 30 min after cesarean section, and that this transient increase was not further augmented by hypoxia and hypothermia. The expression patterns of the other genes were not significantly altered, with the exception of a very slight increase in tyrosine hydroxylase RNA levels. We discuss tentative mechanisms for the transient increase in c-fos expression and the possible involvement of catecholamines in this process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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