Hypothermia and Rewarming Activate a Macroglial Unfolded Protein Response Independent of Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury in Neonatal Piglets

Jennifer K. Lee, Bing Wang, Michael Reyes, Jillian S. Armstrong, Ewa Kulikowicz, Polan Santos, Jeong Hoo Lee, Raymond C. Koehler, Lee J. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Therapeutic hypothermia provides incomplete neuroprotection after hypoxia-ischemia (HI)-induced brain injury in neonates. We previously showed that cortical neuron and white matter apoptosis are promoted by hypothermia and early rewarming in a piglet model of HI. The unfolded protein response (UPR) may be one of the potential mediators of this cell death. Here, neonatal piglets underwent HI or sham surgery followed by 29 h of normothermia, 2 h of normothermia + 27 h of hypothermia or 18 h of hypothermia + rewarming. Piglets recovered for 29 h. Immunohistochemistry for endoplasmic reticulum to nucleus signaling-1 protein (ERN1), a marker of UPR activation, was used to determine the ratios of ERN1+ macroglia and neurons in the motor subcortical white matter and cerebral cortex. The ERN1+ macroglia were immunophenotyped as oligodendrocytes and astrocytes by immunofluorescent colabeling. Temperature (p = 0.046) and HI (p < 0.001) independently affected the ratio of ERN1+ macroglia. In sham piglets, sustained hypothermia (p = 0.011) and rewarming (p = 0.004) increased the ERN1+ macroglia ratio above that in normothermia. HI prior to hypothermia diminished the UPR. Ratios of ERN1+ macroglia correlated with white matter apoptotic profile counts in shams (r = 0.472; p = 0.026), thereby associating UPR activation with white matter apoptosis during hypothermia and rewarming. Accordingly, macroglial cell counts decreased in shams that received sustained hypothermia (p = 0.009) or rewarming (p = 0.007) compared to those in normothermic shams. HI prior to hypothermia neutralized the macroglial cell loss. Neither HI nor temperature affected ERN1+ neuron ratios. In summary, delayed hypothermia and rewarming activate the macroglial UPR, which is associated with white matter apoptosis. HI may decrease the macroglial endoplasmic reticulum stress response after hypothermia and rewarming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-294
Number of pages18
JournalDevelopmental Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Apoptosis
  • Brain injury
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Hypothermia
  • Ischemia
  • Neonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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