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: 4.7). 04/2007; 204(1):234-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2006.10.010
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Open field activity has been used extensively in rodents to measure spontaneous exploratory behaviour. It has also been used in pigs, for example to study the effect of head trauma, early isolation and various substances on exploratory activity (Fraser, 1974; Thodberg et al., 1999; Kanitz et al., 2004; Friess et al., 2007; van der Staay et al., 2009a). "
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    • "the task should be complex and sensitive enough to capture subtle differences in cognitive abilities (Friess et al. 2007; Hagl et al. 2005; Laughlin et al. 1999). "
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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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