Perinatal asphyxia in the rat has lifelong effects on morphology, cognitive functions, and behavior

Semin Perinatol. 2004 Aug;28(4):249-56. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2004.08.001.


Perinatal asphyxia (PA) is a major determinant of neurological morbidity and mortality in the neonatal period. Many studies have been investigating neurological deficits following PA, including seizures, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, as well as psychiatric deficits. Most research performed so far has been focusing on acute or subacute sequelae and has uncovered a variety of morphological, neurochemical, behavioral, and cognitive changes following PA. However, information on long-term sequelae of animals that underwent a period of PA is scanty. Perinatally asphyxiated rats at the end of their life span present with immunohistochemical and synaptic changes as well as changes in brain protein expression. Furthermore, deficits in cognitive function tested in the Morris water maze and changes in social behavior were described. In this review, we are summarizing and discussing reported effects of global PA on morphology, cognitive functions, and behavior in rats at the end of their life span.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / etiology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / pathology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / pathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / complications*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / pathology
  • Maze Learning
  • Motor Activity
  • Perinatal Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Assessment