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Genetic background is known to influence the outcome in mouse models of human disease, and previous experimental studies have shown strain variability in the neonatal mouse model of hypoxia-ischemia. To further map out this variability, we compared five commonly used mouse strains: C57BL/6, 129SVJ, BALB/c, CD1 and FVB in a pure hypoxic-ischemic setup and following pre-sensitization with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Postnatal day 7 pups were subjected to unilateral carotid artery occlusion followed by continuous 30 min 8% oxygen exposure at 36 °C. Twelve hours prior, a third of the pups received a single intraperitoneal LPS (0.6 μg/g) or a saline (vehicle) administration, respectively; a further third underwent hypoxia-ischemia alone without preceding injection. Both C57BL/6 and 129SVJ strains showed minimal response to 30min hypoxia-ischemia alone, BALB/c demonstrated a moderate response, and both CD1 and FVB revealed the highest brain damage. LPS pre-sensitization led to substantial increase in overall brain infarction, microglial and astrocyte response and cell death in four of the five strains, with exception of BALB/c that only showed a significant effect with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL). Saline administration prior to hypoxia-ischemia resulted in an increase in inflammatory-associated markers, particularly in the astroglial activation of C57BL/6 mice, and in combined microglial activation and neuronal cell loss in FVB mice. Finally, two of the four strongly affected strains--C57BL/6 and CD1--revealed pronounced contralateral astrogliosis with a neuroanatomical localization similar to that observed on the occluded hemisphere. Overall, the current findings demonstrate strain differences in response to hypoxia-ischemia alone, to stress associated with vehicle injection, and to LPS-mediated pre-sensitization, which partially explains the high variability seen in the neonatal mouse models of hypoxia-ischemia. These results can be useful in future studies of fetal/neonatal response to inflammation and reduced oxygen-blood supply.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





292 - 307


129SVJ, BALB/c, C57BL/6, CD1, FVB, hypoxia–ischemia, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Brain, Carotid Artery Diseases, Disease Models, Animal, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain, Lipopolysaccharides, Mice, 129 Strain, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Species Specificity