Modeling encephalopathy of prematurity using prenatal hypoxia-ischemia with intra-amniotic lipopolysaccharide in rats

Lauren L. Jantzie, Jesse L. Winer, Jessie R. Maxwell, Lindsay A.S. Chan, Shenandoah Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Encephalopathy of prematurity (EoP) is a term that encompasses the central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities associated with preterm birth. To best advance translational objectives and uncover new therapeutic strategies for brain injury associated with preterm birth, preclinical models of EoP must include similar mechanisms of prenatal global injury observed in humans and involve multiple components of the maternalplacental- fetal system. Ideally, models should produce a similar spectrum of functional deficits in the mature animal and recapitulate multiple aspects of the pathophysiology. To mimic human systemic placental perfusion defects, placental underperfusion and/or chorioamnionitis associated with pathogen-induced inflammation in early preterm birth, we developed a model of prenatal transient systemic hypoxia-ischemia (TSHI) combined with intra-amniotic lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In pregnant Sprague Dawley rats, TSHI via uterine artery occlusion on embryonic day 18 (E18) induces a graded placental underperfusion defect associated with increasing CNS damage in the fetus. When combined with intraamniotic LPS injections, placental inflammation is increased and CNS damage is compounded with associated white matter, gait and imaging abnormalities. Prenatal TSHI and TSHI+LPS prenatal insults meet several of the criteria of an EoP model including recapitulating the intrauterine insult, causing loss of neurons, oligodendrocytes and axons, loss of subplate, and functional deficits in adult animals that mimic those observed in children born extremely preterm. Moreover, this model allows for the dissection of inflammation induced by divergent injury types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere53196
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number105
StatePublished - Nov 20 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Chorioamnionitis
  • In utero
  • Inflammation
  • Intra-amniotic
  • Intrauterine
  • Issue 105
  • Medicine
  • Placenta
  • Preterm
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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