Hypoxic-ischemic changes in SIDS brains as demonstrated by a reduction in MAP2-reactive neurons

Manfred Oehmichen*, Fabian Woetzel, Christoph Meissner

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
17 Zitate (Scopus)


Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is characterized by a lack of any known morphological or functional organ changes that could explain the lethal process. In the present study we investigated the hypothesis of an association between hypoxic/ischemic injury and SIDS deaths. In a previous study, we could demonstrate by quantitative immunohistochemistry a distinct drop in microtubule-associated protein (MAP2) reactivity in neurons of adult, human brains secondary to acute hypoxic-ischemic injuries. Here we applied the same method on sections of the frontal cortex and hippocampus of 41 brains of infants younger than 1 year of age. For each brain area 100 selected neurons were evaluated for their MAP2 reactivity in the different layers of the frontal cortex and in the different segments of the hippocampus. Three groups were compared: (1) SIDS victims (n = 17), (2) infants with hypoxia/ischemia (control group one; n = 14), (3) infants without hypoxic/ischemic injury (control group two; n = 10). The SIDS group and hypoxic/ischemic group exhibited a general reduction in the number of MAP2 reactive neurons in comparison with the non-hypoxic/ischemic injury group. The SIDS group also had a significantly lower (P < 0.05) number of reactive neurons in the CA2 and CA3 areas of the hippocampus than did control group two. No difference was detected between the SIDS group and control group one. The SIDS brains were thus found to display hypoxic/ischemic features without however providing evidence as to the cause of the oxygen reduction.

ZeitschriftActa Neuropathologica
Seiten (von - bis)267-274
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.01.2009


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