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Inflammation-induced sensitization of the brain in term infants.

Journal article
Authors Bobbi Fleiss
Cally J Tann
Vincent Degos
Stéphanie Sigaut
Juliette Van Steenwinckel
Anne-Laure Schang
Anton Kichev
Nicola J Robertson
Carina Mallard
Henrik Hagberg
Pierre Gressens
Published in Developmental medicine and child neurology
Volume 57 Suppl 3
Pages 17-28
ISSN 1469-8749
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Pages 17-28
Language en
Keywords Animals, Brain, abnormalities, Brain Injuries, etiology, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Inflammation, complications, Maternal-Fetal Exchange, Pregnancy
Subject categories Neurology


Perinatal insults are a leading cause of infant mortality and amongst survivors are frequently associated with neurocognitive impairment, cerebral palsy (CP), and seizure disorders. The events leading to perinatal brain injury are multifactorial. This review describes how one subinjurious factor affecting the brain sensitizes it to a second injurious factor, causing an exacerbated injurious cascade. We will review the clinical and experimental evidence, including observations of high rates of maternal and fetal infections in term-born infants with neonatal encephalopathy and cerebral palsy. In addition, we will discuss preclinical evidence for the sensitizing effects of inflammation on injuries, such as hypoxia-ischaemia, our current understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the sensitization process, and the possibility for neuroprotection.

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