Neurobehavioral functional deficits following closed head injury in the neonatal pig

Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Experimental Neurology (Impact Factor: 4.62). 04/2007; 204(1):234-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2006.10.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Neurobehavioral deficits in higher cortical systems have not been described previously in a large animal model of diffuse brain injury. Anesthetized 3-5 day old piglets were subjected to either mild (142 rad/s) or moderate (188 rad/s) rapid non-impact axial rotations of the head. Multiple domains of cortical function were evaluated 5 times during the 12 day post-injury period using tests of neurobehavioral function devised for piglets. There were no observed differences in neurobehavioral outcomes between mild injury pigs (N=8) and instrumented shams (N=4). Moderately injured piglets (N=7) had significantly lower interest in exploring their environment and had higher failure rates in visual-based problem solving compared to instrumented shams (N=5) on days 1 and 4 after injury. Neurobehavioral functional deficits correlated with neuropathologic damage in the neonatal pigs after inertial head injury. Injured axons detected by immunohistochemistry (beta-APP) were absent in mild injury and sham piglets, but were observed in moderately injured piglet brains. In summary, we have developed a quantitative battery of neurobehavioral functional assessments for large animals that correlate with neuropathologic axonal damage and may have wide applications in the fields of cardiac resuscitation, stroke, and hypoxic-ischemic brain injury.

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Available from: Karen Overall, Apr 18, 2014
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    • "Functional deficits in the sniffing behavior in open field in the injury groups were consistent with our previously reported results (Friess et al., 2007), with statistically significant decreases in activity seen in both double injured groups (24Hr and WEEK) compared to those with SHAM. In addition, the 24HR animals demonstrated significantly higher failure rates compared to those with SHAM on the glass barrier problem solving test. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cumulative effects of repetitive mild head injury in the pediatric population are unknown. We have developed a cognitive composite dysfunction score that correlates white matter injury severity in neonatal piglets with neurobehavioral assessments of executive function, memory, learning, and problem solving. Anesthetized 3- to 5-day-old piglets were subjected to single (n = 7), double one day apart (n = 7), and double one week apart (n = 7) moderate (190 rad/s) rapid non-impact axial rotations of the head and compared to instrumented shams (n = 7). Animals experiencing two head rotations one day apart had a significantly higher mortality rate (43%) compared to the other groups and had higher failures rates in visual-based problem solving compared to instrumented shams. White matter injury, assessed by beta-APP staining, was significantly higher in the double one week apart group compared to that with single injury and sham. Worsening performance on cognitive composite score correlated well with increasing severity of white matter axonal injury. In our immature large animal model of TBI, two head rotations produced poorer outcome as assessed by neuropathology and neurobehavioral functional outcomes compared to that with single rotations. More importantly, we have observed an increase in injury severity and mortality when the head rotations occur 24 h apart compared to 7 days apart. These observations have important clinical translation to infants subjected to repeated inflicted head trauma.
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