Anoxia in the first week of life can induce neuronal death in vulnerable brain regions usually associated with an impairment of cognitive function that can be detected later in life. We set-up a model of subneurotoxic anoxia based on repeated exposures to 100% nitrogen during the first 7 days of post-natal life. This mild post-natal exposure to anoxia specifically modified the behaviour of the male adult rats, which showed an attention deficit and an increase in anxiety, without any impairment in spatial learning and any detectable brain damage (magnetic resonance imaging and histological analysis). Post-anoxic rats showed a reduction in the expression of group-I metabotropic glutamate receptors (i.e. mGlu1 and mGlu5 receptors) in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex, whereas expression of the mGlu 2/3 receptors, the NR1 subunit of NMDA receptors, and the GluR1 subunit of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5- methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA) receptors was unchanged. mGlu1 and mGlu5 receptor signalling was also impaired in postanoxic rats, as revealed by a reduced efficacy of the agonist (1S,3R)-1-Aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid (15,3R-ACPD) to stimulate polyphosphoinositide hydrolysis in hippocampal slices. We conclude that rats subjected to subneurotoxic doses of anoxia during the early post-natal life develop behavioural symptoms that are frequently encountered in the inattentive subtype of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and that group-I mGlu receptors may be involved in the pathophysiology of these symptoms.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Glutamate receptors
- Neonatal anoxia
- Spatial learning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience