We summarize the preliminary results of brain histopathology and magnetic resonance imaging applied to a premature baboon model developed for evaluation of the pathogenesis and treatment of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Cerebral development was assessed in 10 gestational control animals at time points of 125, 140 and 160 days of gestation (dg). On the basis of histopathology, conventional MRI and diffusion MRI, 125 dg is equivalent to 26-28 weeks of human gestation, 140 dg is equivalent to 30-32 weeks, and 160 dg is equivalent to term. Preliminary data are also presented for 33 experimental cases delivered at 125 dg, nursed for 2 weeks in an intensive care facility, and sacrificed at 139-140 dg. The commonest neuropathology in this cohort is white matter damage, manifest by reactive astrogliosis or activated microglia, and enlarged ventricular size. Subarachnoid, germinal matrix and intraventricular hemorrhages are also common. These preliminary results support the similarity of this model to the human preterm infant for both cerebral development and the pattern of cerebral injury. The prematurely born baboon appears an important model for the study of preterm human birth.
- Brain development