The factors underlying the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) are still unknown, but in recent years much attention has been focused on the central cardiorespiratory control system. In the present work we analyzed the nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS) of 23 SIDS victims and 17 age-matched control cases. We studied the functional and morphological alterations of neurons and glial cells to evaluate the results of possible hypoxic-ischemic injury that could have led to sudden death. Morphometric and immunohistochemical analyses were performed on medullary sections. In the nTS of SIDS victims we observed modifications of both neuronal and glial cells. Brain injury triggers the activation of both astrocytes and microglia, which respond to neuronal damage by characteristic changes that could explain our observations in the nTS of SIDS victims. In our investigation of the nTS of SIDS victims we found a significant increase of reactive astrocytes density, a significantly higher percentage of necrotic cells, an increase of reactive microglial cells density, a significantly higher expression of substance P and the presence of NMDA receptors immunoreactivity. Our results support the hypothesis that there is injury of the nTS neurons in SIDS victims, even if the causes of this damage are still unknown. This neuronal damage may explain why adequate ventilation is often not maintained during hypoxia. Such histological findings have never been thought sufficient to explain SIDS, but the tissue findings could be an indication of the impairment of several pathophysiological mechanisms which may underlie brainstem dysfunction, affecting cardiorespiratory control.

Glial and neuronal alterations in the nucleus tractus solitarii of sudden infant death syndrome victims / B. Biondo, S. Magagnin, B. Bruni, A. Cazzullo, D. Tosi, L. Matturri. - In: ACTA NEUROPATHOLOGICA. - ISSN 0001-6322. - 108:4(2004 Oct), pp. 309-318.

Glial and neuronal alterations in the nucleus tractus solitarii of sudden infant death syndrome victims

B. Biondo
Primo
;
S. Magagnin
Secondo
;
B. Bruni;D. Tosi
Penultimo
;
L. Matturri
Ultimo
2004-10

Abstract

The factors underlying the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) are still unknown, but in recent years much attention has been focused on the central cardiorespiratory control system. In the present work we analyzed the nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS) of 23 SIDS victims and 17 age-matched control cases. We studied the functional and morphological alterations of neurons and glial cells to evaluate the results of possible hypoxic-ischemic injury that could have led to sudden death. Morphometric and immunohistochemical analyses were performed on medullary sections. In the nTS of SIDS victims we observed modifications of both neuronal and glial cells. Brain injury triggers the activation of both astrocytes and microglia, which respond to neuronal damage by characteristic changes that could explain our observations in the nTS of SIDS victims. In our investigation of the nTS of SIDS victims we found a significant increase of reactive astrocytes density, a significantly higher percentage of necrotic cells, an increase of reactive microglial cells density, a significantly higher expression of substance P and the presence of NMDA receptors immunoreactivity. Our results support the hypothesis that there is injury of the nTS neurons in SIDS victims, even if the causes of this damage are still unknown. This neuronal damage may explain why adequate ventilation is often not maintained during hypoxia. Such histological findings have never been thought sufficient to explain SIDS, but the tissue findings could be an indication of the impairment of several pathophysiological mechanisms which may underlie brainstem dysfunction, affecting cardiorespiratory control.
neuronal death; microglia; NR1 receptor; substance P; sudden infant death syndrome
Settore MED/08 - Anatomia Patologica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/518943
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