Fetal intrauterine growth restriction generates chronic hypoxia due to placental insufficiency. Despite the hemodynamic process of blood flow, redistributions are taking place in key organs such as the fetal brain during intrauterine growth restriction, in order to maintain oxygen and nutrients supply. The risk of short- and long-term neurological effects are still present in hypoxic offspring. Most studies previously reported the effect of hypoxia on the levels of a single neurotransmitter, making it difficult to have a better understanding of the relationship among neurotransmitter levels and the defects reported in products that suffer intrauterine growth restriction, such as motor development, coordination and execution of movement, and the learning-memory process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamate, dopamine and serotonin in three structures of the brain related to the above-mentioned function such as the cerebral cortex, the striatum, and the hippocampus in the chronic hypoxic newborn rabbit model. Our results showed a significant increase in glutamate and dopamine levels in all studied brain structures and a significant decrease in gamma-aminobutyric acid levels but only in the striatum, suggesting that the imbalance on the levels of several neurotransmitters could be involved in new born brain damage due to perinatal hypoxia.
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