Fetal asphyxia leads to the loss of striatal presynaptic boutons in adult rats

E. Strackx, D. L. A. Van den Hove, H. P. Steinbusch, H. W. M. Steinbusch, J. S. H. Vles, C. E. Blanco, A. W. D. Gavilanes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Fetal asphyxic insults in the brain are known to be associated with developmental and neurological problems like neuromotor disorders and cognitive deficits. Little is known, however, about the long-term consequences of fetal asphyxia contributing to the development of different neurological diseases common in the adult or the aging brain. For that reason the present study aimed to investigate the long-term effects of fetal asphyxia on synaptic organization within the adult rat brain. Fetal asphyxia was induced at embryonic day 17 by 75-min clamping of the uterine and ovarian arteries. Presynaptic bouton densities and numbers were analyzed in the striatum and prefrontal cortex at the age of 19 months. A substantial decrease in presynaptic bouton density and number was observed in the striatum of fetal asphyxia rats compared to control rats, while an increase was found in the fifth layer of the prefrontal cortex. These results suggest that fetal asphyxia can have long-lasting effects on synaptic organization that might contribute to a developmental etiology of different neurological disorders and aging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-281
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Fetal asphyxia
  • Synapse
  • Synaptophysin
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Aging


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