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We reported previously that intrauterine asphyxia acutely affects the rat hippocampus. For this reason, the early effects of this injury were studied in the cerebral cortex, immediately after hysterectomy (acute condition) or following a recovery period at normoxia (recovery condition). Lactacidemia and glycemia were determined, as well as glycogen levels in the muscle, liver and cortex. Cortical tissue was also used to assay the ATP levels and glutamate uptake. Asphyxiated pups exhibited bluish coloring, loss of movement, sporadic gasping and hypertonia. However, the appearance of the controls and asphyxiated pups was similar at the end of the recovery period. Lactacidemia and glycemia were significantly increased by asphyxia in both the acute and recovery conditions. Concerning muscle and hepatic glycogen, the control group showed significantly higher levels than the asphyxic group in the acute condition and when compared with groups of the recovery period. In the recovery condition, the control and asphyxic groups showed similar glycogen levels. However, in the cortex, the control groups showed significantly higher glycogen levels than the asphyxic group, in both the acute and recovery conditions. In the cortical tissue, asphyxia reduced ATP levels by 70 % in the acute condition, but these levels increased significantly in asphyxic pups after the recovery period. Asphyxia did not affect glutamate transport in the cortex of both groups. Our results suggest that the cortex uses different energy resources to restore ATP after an asphyxia episode followed by a reperfusion period. This strategy could sustain the activity of essential energy-dependent mechanisms.


Samir Khal Souza, Tiago Leal Martins, Gustavo Dias Ferreira, Anapaula Sommer Vinagre, Roselis Silveira Martins da Silva, Marcos Emilio Frizzo. Metabolic effects of perinatal asphyxia in the rat cerebral cortex. Metabolic brain disease. 2013 Mar;28(1):25-32

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PMID: 23196669

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