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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 276029, 8 pages
Research Article

Intra-Amniotic LPS Induced Region-Specific Changes in Presynaptic Bouton Densities in the Ovine Fetal Brain

1School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University and European Graduate, School of Neuroscience (EURON), Universiteitssingel 50, Room 1.152, 6229 MD Maastricht, Netherlands
2Department of Pediatrics-Neonatology, Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC), Postbus 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, Netherlands
3Institute of Biomedicine, Faculty of Medicine, Catholic University of Guayaquil, Avenue Carlos Julio Arosemena, Km. 1 1/2 Via Daule, Guayaquil, Ecuador

Received 30 June 2014; Accepted 14 December 2014

Academic Editor: Diego Gazzolo

Copyright © 2015 Eveline Strackx et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Rationale. Chorioamnionitis has been associated with increased risk for fetal brain damage. Although, it is now accepted that synaptic dysfunction might be responsible for functional deficits, synaptic densities/numbers after a fetal inflammatory challenge have not been studied in different regions yet. Therefore, we tested in this study the hypothesis that LPS-induced chorioamnionitis caused profound changes in synaptic densities in different regions of the fetal sheep brain. Material and Methods. Chorioamnionitis was induced by a 10 mg intra-amniotic LPS injection at two different exposure intervals. The fetal brain was studied at 125 days of gestation (term = 150 days) either 2 (LPS2D group) or 14 days (LPS14D group) after LPS or saline injection (control group). Synaptophysin immunohistochemistry was used to quantify the presynaptic density in layers 2-3 and 5-6 of the motor cortex, somatosensory cortex, entorhinal cortex, and piriforme cortex, in the nucleus caudatus and putamen and in CA1/2, CA3, and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Results. There was a significant reduction in presynaptic bouton densities in layers 2-3 and 5-6 of the motor cortex and in layers 2-3 of the entorhinal and the somatosensory cortex, in the nucleus caudate and putamen and the CA1/2 and CA3 of the hippocampus in the LPS2D compared to control animals. Only in the motor cortex and putamen, the presynaptic density was significantly decreased in the LPS14 D compared to the control group. No changes were found in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and the piriforme cortex. Conclusion. We demonstrated that LPS-induced chorioamnionitis caused a decreased density in presynaptic boutons in different areas in the fetal brain. These synaptic changes seemed to be region-specific, with some regions being more affected than others, and seemed to be transient in some regions.