• striatum;
  • perinatal asphyxia;
  • map-2;
  • neuronal cytoskeleton;
  • dendritic spines


Perinatal asphyxia (PA) is a medical condition associated with a high short-term morbimortality and different long-term neurological diseases. In previous works, we have shown that neuronal and synaptic changes in rat striatum lead to ubi-protein accumulation in post-synaptic density (PSD) after six months of sub-severe PA. However, very little is known about the synaptic and related structural modifications induced by PA in young rats. In the present work, we studied neuronal cytoskeleton modifications in striatum induced by subsevere PA in 30-day-old rats. We observed a significant decrease in the number of neurons, in particular calbindin immunoreactive neurons after PA. In addition, it was also observed that actin cytoskeleton was highly modified in the PSD as well as an increment of F-actin staining by Phalloidin-alexa488 in the striatum of PA rats. Using correlative fluorescence-electron microscopy photooxidation, we confirmed and extended confocal observations. F-actin staining augmentation was mostly related with an increment in the number of mushroom-shaped spines. Consistent with microscopic data, Western blot analysis revealed a β-actin increment in PSD in PA rats. On the other hand, MAP-2 immunostaining was decreased after PA, being NF-200 expression unmodified. Although neuronal death was observed, signs of generalized neurodegeneration were absent. Taken together these results showed early post-synaptic F-actin cytoskeleton changes induced by PA with slightly modifications in the other components of the neuronal cytoskeleton, suggesting that F-actin accumulation in the dendritic spines could be involved in the neuronal loss induced by PA. Synapse, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.