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Academic Editor: Yingxian Pan
We aimed to develop a model of fetal hypoxia-ischemia (HI) preconditioning that reflects the pathophysiological conditions of perinatal asphyxia more closely than the existing neonatal stroke models. Fetal asphyxia (FA) was induced by clamping the uterine vasculature on embryonic day E17. At birth (P0), severe perinatal asphyxia (SPA) was induced during cesarean section. At P4, carotid arteries were studied in a wire myograph and at P8 brains were analyzed for apoptotic cell death in the prefrontal cortex and striatum. The contraction induced by K+ was significantly reduced in the carotid arteries from the SPA group and endothelium-dependent relaxation (mediated by acetylcholine) was augmented in the FA group. These changes in vascular responsiveness were not present in the animals exposed to both insults (FA + SPA). Additionally, FA+SPA animals showed lower numbers of apoptotic cells compared to SPA animals in both the prefrontal cortex and striatum. Exposure to a global fetal asphyctic insult seems to protect against the vascular alterations and the increase of apoptosis in striatum and prefrontal cortex induced by severe asphyxia at birth.