Maternal antioxidant treatment protects adult offspring against memory loss and hippocampal atrophy in a rodent model of developmental hypoxia
The FASEB Journal
Federation of American Society of Experimental Biology (FASEB)
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Camm, E., Cross, C., Kane, A., Tarry-Adkins, J., Ozanne, S., & Giussani, D. (2021). Maternal antioxidant treatment protects adult offspring against memory loss and hippocampal atrophy in a rodent model of developmental hypoxia. The FASEB Journal https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.202002557RR
Chronic fetal hypoxia is one of the most common outcomes in complicated pregnancy in humans. Despite this, its effects on the long-term health of the brain in offspring are largely unknown. Here, we investigated in rats whether hypoxic pregnancy affects brain structure and function in the adult offspring and explored underlying mechanisms with maternal antioxidant intervention. Pregnant rats were randomly chosen for normoxic or hypoxic (13% oxygen) pregnancy with or without maternal supplementation with vitamin C in their drinking water. In one cohort, the placenta and fetal tissues were collected at the end of gestation. In another, dams were allowed to deliver naturally, and offspring were reared under normoxic conditions until 4 months of age (young adult). Between 3.5 and 4 months, the behavior, cognition and brains of the adult offspring were studied. We demonstrated that prenatal hypoxia reduced neuronal number, as well as vascular and synaptic density, in the hippocampus, significantly impairing memory function in the adult offspring. These adverse effects of prenatal hypoxia were independent of the hypoxic pregnancy inducing fetal growth restriction or elevations in maternal or fetal plasma glucocorticoid levels. Maternal vitamin C supplementation during hypoxic pregnancy protected against oxidative stress in the placenta and prevented the adverse effects of prenatal hypoxia on hippocampal atrophy and memory loss in the adult offspring. Therefore, these data provide a link between prenatal hypoxia, placental oxidative stress and offspring brain health in later life, providing insight into mechanism and identifying a therapeutic strategy.
The work was supported by The British Heart Foundation (PG/14/5/30547). SEO is supported by the MRC-MDU (MC_UU_00014/4).
British Heart Foundation (RG/06/006/22028)
British Heart Foundation (FS/12/74/29778)
British Heart Foundation (PG/14/5/30547)
British Heart Foundation (RG/17/8/32924)
British Heart Foundation (via University of Manchester) (R122324)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.202002557RR
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/322176
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/