Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus occurs in up to 30% of infants with high-grade intraventricular hemorrhage and is associated with the worst neurocognitive outcomes in preterm infants. The mechanisms of posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus after intraventricular hemorrhage are unknown; however, CSF levels of iron metabolic pathway proteins including hemoglobin have been implicated in its pathogenesis. Here, we develop an animal model of intraventricular hemorrhage using intraventricular injection of hemoglobin at post-natal day 4 that results in acute and chronic hydrocephalus, pathologic choroid plexus iron accumulation, and subsequent choroid plexus injury at post-natal days 5, 7, and 15. This model also results in increased expression of aquaporin-1, Na+/K+/Cl- cotransporter 1, and Na+/K+/ATPase on the apical surface of the choroid plexus 24 h post-intraventricular hemorrhage. We use this model to evaluate a clinically relevant treatment strategy for the prevention of neurological sequelae after intraventricular hemorrhage using intraventricular administration of the iron chelator deferoxamine at the time of hemorrhage. Deferoxamine treatment prevented posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus for up to 11 days after intraventricular hemorrhage and prevented the development of sensorimotor gating deficits. In addition, deferoxamine treatment facilitated acute iron clearance through the choroid plexus and subsequently reduced choroid plexus iron levels at 24 h with reversal of hemoglobin-induced aquaporin-1 upregulation on the apical surface of the choroid plexus. Intraventricular administration of deferoxamine at the time of intraventricular hemorrhage may be a clinically relevant treatment strategy for preventing posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus and likely acts through promoting iron clearance through the choroid plexus to prevent hemoglobin-induced injury.
- Germinal matrix hemorrhage
- Intraventricular hemorrhage