Protective effect of growth hormone on neuronal apoptosis after hypoxia-ischemia in the neonatal rat brain

Dong Hoon Shin, Eunju Lee, Jong Wan Kim, Bum Sun Kwon, Mi Kyung Jung, Youn Hee Jee, Jaehyup Kim, Su Ryeon Bae, Young Pyo Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Recent studies have shown that growth hormone (GH) can reduce neuronal loss after hypoxic-ischemic injury (HI) in neonatal and juvenile rat brains. Here, we investigated whether GH exerts its neuroprotective role through an anti-apoptotic effect in neonatal rat brains damaged by severe HI. Gross and histological observations showed that the extent of brain damage was found to be reduced in GH-treated brain at E7 after injury. In a terminal transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end-labeling (TUNEL) study, TUNEL-positive apoptotic cells were localized only at the damaged region in animals treated with saline, which was confirmed by an electron microscopy. In an immunohistochemical study with anti-bcl-2, -bax, -bad, -neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), -inducible NOS (iNOS) and -endothelial NOS (eNOS) antibodies, we observed that bax, bad, iNOS and eNOS were elevated in the saline-treated group. This study thus suggests that the protective role of GH against HI injury is mediated thorough an anti-apoptotic effect, which offers the possibility of a GH application for the treatment of neonatal HI encephalopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bcl-2
  • Growth hormone
  • Hypoxia-ischemia
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Terminal transferase mediated dUTP nick end labeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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