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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2003 Feb 16;140(2):205-14.

Disturbance of oligodendrocyte development, hypomyelination and white matter injury in the neonatal rat brain after intracerebral injection of lipopolysaccharide.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Newborn Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 N State Street, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.


Increasing data provide support for the hypothesis that brain inflammation plays an important role in injury to developing white matter. In the present study, inflammatory responses in the neonatal rat brain were investigated following lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration at postnatal day 5. LPS-induced brain injury was examined in brain sections 24 h, 3 and 9 days after LPS injection. White matter rarefaction was observed in 50% of the rat brains (three out of six) 24 h after LPS injection. Lateral ventricle enlargement was found in 100% (four out of four) and 89% (eight out of nine) of rat brains 3 and 9 days after LPS administration, respectively. White matter necrosis was found in three out of nine brains injected with LPS on P14. None of these injuries was observed in any control rat brains. No histological changes in gray matter were noted in the LPS-injected rat brain. Proinflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha), interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the rat brain were greatly induced after LPS administration. Activated astrocytes and microglia/macrophages were found in the affected rat brains. Double-labeling showed that IL-1beta and iNOS expressing cells were microglia/macrophages. Injury to or delayed development of immature oligodendrocytes (OLs) was evident by decreased immunostaining for both O4 and O1 antibodies, markers for developing immature OLs, in the LPS-injected as compared to the control rat brain. LPS also resulted in hypomyelination, as indicated by reduced myelin basic protein (MBP) immunostaining in the P8 rat brain. Co-administration of IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) with LPS reduced brain injury by improving myelination and subsequent reduction of lateral ventricle enlargement. These results indicate that developing OLs may be the target cells for LPS-induced brain injury and inflammatory cytokines are possible mediators of LPS-induced brain injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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