No Differences in Cerebral Immunohistochemical Markers following Remote Ischemic Postconditioning in Newborn Piglets with Hypoxia-Ischemia

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Background: Despite therapeutic hypothermia, neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy still develop neurological disabilities. We have previously investigated neuroprotection by remote ischemic postconditioning (RIPC) in newborn piglets following hypoxia-ischemia (HI). The aim of this study was to further investigate potential effects of RIPC on cerebral immunohistochemical markers related to edema, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. Methods: Brain expression of aquaporin 4, caspase-3, B-cell lymphoma 2, and vascular endothelial growth factor was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in 23 piglets, randomly selected from a larger study of RIPC after HI. Twenty animals were subjected to 45-minutes HI and randomized to treatment with and without RIPC, while three animals were randomized to sham procedures. RIPC was conducted by four conditioning cycles of five-minutes ischemia and reperfusion. Piglets were euthanized 72 hours after the HI insult. Results: Piglets subjected to HI treated with and without RIPC were similar at baseline and following the HI insult. However, piglets randomized to HI alone had longer duration of low blood pressure during the insult. We found no differences in the brain expression of the immunohistochemical markers in any regions of interest or the whole brain between the two HI groups. Conclusions: RIPC did not influence brain expression of markers related to edema, apoptosis, or angiogenesis in newborn piglets at 72 hours after HI. These results support previous findings of limited neuroprotective effect by this RIPC protocol. Our results may have been affected by the time of assessment, use of fentanyl as anesthetic, or limitations related to our immunohistochemical methods.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

    Research areas

  • Hypoxia-ischemia, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, immunohistochemistry, piglet model, remote ischemic postconditioning

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