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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Neurological Disorders - Neuroscience - Pediatrics and Child Health

Preterm Delivery Disrupts the Developmental Program of the Cerebellum
Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Author: Parthiv Haldipur et al.

by Parthiv Haldipur, Upasna Bharti, Corinne Alberti, Chitra Sarkar, Geetika Gulati, Soumya Iyengar, Pierre Gressens, Shyamala Mani

A rapid growth in human cerebellar development occurs in the third trimester, which is impeded by preterm delivery. The goal of this study was to characterize the impact of preterm delivery on the developmental program of the human cerebellum. Still born infants, which meant that all development up to that age had taken place in-utero, were age paired with preterm delivery infants, who had survived in an ex-utero environment, which meant that their development had also taken place outside the uterus. The two groups were assessed on quantitative measures that included molecular markers of granule neuron, purkinje neuron and bergmann glia differentiation, as well as the expression of the sonic hedgehog signaling pathway, that is important for cerebellar growth. We report that premature birth and development in an ex-utero environment leads to a significant decrease in the thickness and an increase in the packing density of the cells within the external granular layer and the inner granular layer well, as a reduction in the density of bergmann glial fibres. In addition, this also leads to a reduced expression of sonic hedgehog in the purkinje layer. We conclude that the developmental program of the cerebellum is specifically modified by events that follow preterm delivery.
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