Very low body weight as a result of premature birth is a common problem all around the world. Many of these infants have medical issues that arise as a direct result of their very low body weight. One of the biggest issues is a lack of oxygen, which is also known as hypoxia. Hypoxia and ischemia (lack of blood flow) are a problem at any age, but they can be especially devastating to infants who have not undergone critical periods of brain development. Hypoxia-ischemia (or HI) can cause problems that start as inflammation and end with large-scale cell death in the brain (encephalopathy). These pathologies can cause death, or if the infant lives, developmental disorders later in life (Volpe, 2009). Studies done by Lim et al. (2003) have shown promise for the use of inter-alpha-inhibitor proteins (IAIP) to reduce inflammatory damage in a sepsis model. Due to the activity of IAIP as an anti-inflammatory it is possible that it could mitigate the inflammatory damage in the brain caused by neonatal HI. In this study, stereological assessment was performed on 26 male Wistar rats to look for effects of IAIP injected after induction of HI. To measure the effects of the IAIP, volumes of the subjects cortical regions and hippocampal regions were measured after either a sham surgery, HI with an injection of saline or HI with an injection of IAIP. Although statistical analysis of results did not show any significant effect of treatment, this study established a novel paradigm that can be used for this type of research, and gave insight into how future studies could be modified to show a beneficial effect of IAIP injection following HI.
Mabardi, Llian, "Effects of Hypoxia-Ischemia and Anti-Inflammatory Prophylactic Treatment on Cortical and Hippocampal Volumes in the Developing Rat Brain" (2012). Honors Projects Overview. 59.
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