Biologia, Bratislava, 55/Suppl. 8: 27-32, 2000.

ISSN 0006-3088 (Biologia). ISSN 1335-6399 (Biologia. Section Cellular and Molecular Biology).


Full Paper

Effect of neonatal anoxia on neurobehavioral development of rats.


Michal Dubovicky1*, Mojmir Mach1, Eduard Ujhazy1, Ivo Juranek1, Jana Navarova1, Pavel Kovacovsky2, Ivo Rychlik2 & Irina Sadlonova3

1 Institute of Experimental Pharmacology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dubravska cesta 9, SK-84216 Bratislava, Slovakia; tel.: ++ 421 7 59410664, e-mail:

2 Department of Psychology, Philosophical Faculty, Comenius University, Gondova 2, SK-81801 Bratislava, Slovakia

3 Drug Research Institute, J.S.C., Horna 36, SK-90001 Modra, Slovakia

* corresponding author

Received: July 24, 2000 / Accepted: October 24, 2000



The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of neonatal anoxia on surviving and neurobehavioral development (somatic growth and maturation, reflex and neuromotor development, levels of activity and emotional reactivity, habituation, cognitive function) of Wistar/DV rats in relation to the developmental stage, gender and concomitant influence of hypothermia. Anoxia was induced in a special gas chamber in normothermic (36C) and hypothermic (23C) conditions. Pups of both genders were exposed to anoxia of 10, 15, 20 and 25 min duration on postnatal day 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6. Mortality of neonatal pups was increasing in relation to their age and duration of the anoxic insult. Neonatal anoxia in normothermic conditions resulted in subtle gender-related changes in exploratory behavior manifested in males by increased motor activity and slowed-down habituation in an open field.


Key words: perinatal asphyxia, neonatal anoxia, hypothermia, neurobehavioral development, rat, gender differences.