Perinatal asphyxia has been implicated in the pathogenesis of persistent convulsive disorders later in life. Whether epilepsy is the result of oxygen deficiency alone or is due to the combined effect of hypoxia and ischemia is not known. In this report we studied the role of perinatal hypoxia alone on the development of epilepsy. One day and ten days old rat pups were exposed to prolonged hypoxia (6% O2). The subsequent susceptibility to focally elicited (kindled) or generalized (flurothyl) seizures was determined in the fourth week of age. Rats exposed to hypoxia were not more susceptible to the development of either type of seizures when compared to controls. Since the equivalent degree of hypoxia used for the 1 day old rat has previously been shown to result in lasting neurochemical and behavioral alterations and the degree of hypoxia used for the 10 day rat was lethal in over 35% of the animals, it is suggested that oxygen deficiency in and of itself may not be sufficient to lead to the development of epilepsy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience