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Oxidative stress and cell death in the cerebral cortex as a long-term consequence of neonatal hypoglycemia

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Neonatal hypoglycemia limits glucose supply to cells leading to long-term consequences in brain function. The present study evaluated antioxidant and cell death factors’ alterations in cerebral cortex of 1-month-old rats exposed to neonatal hypoglycemia. Gene expression studies by real-time PCR were carried out using gene-specific TaqMan probes. Fluorescent dyes were used for immunohistochemistry and nuclear staining and imaged by confocal microscope. Total antioxidant level and expression of antioxidant enzymes — superoxide dismutase (SOD) and gluthathione peroxide (GPx) — mRNA was significantly reduced along with high peroxide level in the cerebral cortex of 1-month-old rats exposed to neonatal hypoglycemia. Real-time PCR analysis showed an upregulation of Bax, caspase 3, and caspase 8 gene expression. Confocal imaging with TOPRO-3 staining and immunohistochemistry with caspase 3 antibody indicated cell death activation. The reduced free radical scavenging capability coupled with the expression of key factors involved in cell death pathway points to the possibility of oxidative stress in the cortex of 1-month-old rats exposed to neonatal hypoglycemia. The observed results indicate the effects of neonatal hypoglycemia in determining the antioxidant capability of cerebral cortex in a later stage of life.
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Keywords: Bax; GPx; SOD; TOPRO-3; caspase

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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