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Supplementary Material for: Structural Brain Changes during the Neonatal Period in a Rabbit Model of Intrauterine Growth Restriction

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posted on 05.03.2021, 10:50 by Pla L., Illa M., Loreiro C., Lopez M.C., Vázquez-Aristizabal P., Kühne B.A., Barenys M., Eixarch E., Gratacós E.
Background: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is associated with abnormal neurodevelopment, but the associated structural brain changes are poorly documented. The aim of this study was to describe in an animal model the brain changes at the cellular level in the gray and white matter induced by IUGR during the neonatal period. Methods: The IUGR model was surgically induced in pregnant rabbits by ligating 40–50% of the uteroplacental vessels in 1 horn, whereas the uteroplacental vessels of the contralateral horn were not ligated. After 5 days, IUGR animals from the ligated horn and controls from the nonligated were delivered. On the day of delivery, perinatal data and placentas were collected. On postnatal day 1, functional changes were first evaluated, and thereafter, neuronal arborization in the frontal cortex and density of pre-oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and microglia in the corpus callosum were evaluated. Results: Higher stillbirth in IUGR fetuses together with a reduced birth weight as compared to controls was evidenced. IUGR animals showed poorer functional results, an altered neuronal arborization pattern, and a decrease in the pre-oligodendrocytes, with no differences in microglia and astrocyte densities. Conclusions: Overall, in the rabbit model used, IUGR is related to functional and brain changes evidenced already at birth, including changes in the neuronal arborization and abnormal oligodendrocyte maturation.