Neonatal Hypoxia-Ischemia Causes Persistent Intracortical Circuit Changes in Layer 4 of Rat Auditory Cortex

Aminah Sheikh, Xiangying Meng, Joseph P.Y. Kao, Patrick O. Kanold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The connection between early brain injury and subsequent development of disorders is unknown. Neonatal hypoxia-ischemia (HI) alters circuits associated with subplate neurons (SPNs). SPNs are among the first maturing cortical neurons, project to thalamorecipient layer 4 (L4), and are required for the development of thalamocortical connections. Thus, early HI might influence L4 and such influence might persist. We investigated functional circuits to L4 neurons in neonatal rat HI models of different severities (mild and moderate) shortly after injury and at adolescence. We used laser-scanning photostimulation in slices of auditory cortex during P5-10 and P18-23. Mild injuries did not initially (P6/P7) alter the convergence of excitatory inputs from L2/3, but hyperconnectivity emerged by P8-10. Inputs from L4 showed initial hypoconnectivity which resolved by P8-10. Moderate injuries resulted in initial hypoconnectivity from both layers which resolved by P8-10 and led to persistent strengthening of connections. Inhibitory inputs to L4 cells showed similar changes. Functional changes were mirrored by reduced dendritic complexity. We also observed a persistent increase in similarity of L4 circuits, suggesting that HI interferes with developmental circuit refinement and diversification. Altogether, our results show that neonatal HI injuries lead to persistent changes in intracortical connections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2575-2589
Number of pages15
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2022


  • auditory cortex
  • cortical
  • hypoxia-ischemia
  • neonatal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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