Sean Quinlan, Paula Merino-Serrais, Alessandra Di Grande, Heiko Dussmann, Jochen H. M. Prehn, Tríona Ní Chonghaile, David C. Henshall Eva M. Jimenez-Mateos
Recent studies suggest that mild hypoxia-induced neonatal seizures can trigger an acute neuroinflammatory response leading to long-lasting changes in brain excitability along with associated cognitive and behavioral deficits. The cellular elements and signaling pathways underlying neuroinflammation in this setting remain incompletely understood but could yield novel therapeutic targets. Here we show that brief global hypoxia-induced neonatal seizures in mice result in transient cytokine production, a selective expansion of microglia and long-lasting changes to the neuronal structure of pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus. Treatment of neonatal mice after hypoxia-seizures with the novel anti-inflammatory compound candesartan cilexetil suppressed acute seizure-damage and mitigated later-life aggravated seizure responses and hippocampus-dependent learning deficits. Together, these findings improve our understanding of the effects of neonatal seizures and identify potentially novel treatments to protect against short and long-lasting harmful effects.