Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 891–900 | Cite as

Maternal seizures can affect the brain developing of offspring

  • Ana Carolina CossaEmail author
  • Daiana Correia Lima
  • Tiago Gurgel do Vale
  • Anna Karynna Alves de Alencar Rocha
  • Maria da Graça Naffah-Mazzacoratti
  • Maria José da Silva Fernandes
  • Debora Amado
Original Article


To elucidate the impact of maternal seizures in the developing rat brain, pregnant Wistar rats were subjected to the pilocarpine-induced seizures and pups from different litters were studied at different ages. In the first 24 h of life, blood glucose and blood gases were analyzed. 14C-leucine [14C-Leu] incorporation was used to analyze protein synthesis at PN1, and Western Blot method was used to analyze protein levels of Bax, Bcl-2 and Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) in the hippocampus (PN3-PN21). During the first 22 days of postnatal life, body weight gain, length, skull measures, tooth eruption, eye opening and righting reflex have been assessed. Pups from naive mothers were used as controls. Experimental pups showed a compensated metabolic acidosis and hyperglycemia. At PN1, the [14C-Leu] incorporation into different studied areas of experimental pups was lower than in the control pups. During development, the protein levels of Bax, Bcl-2 and PARP-1 in the hippocampus of experimental pups were altered when compared with control pups. A decreased level of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins was verified in the early postnatal age (PN3), and an increased level of pro-apoptotic proteins concomitant with a reduced level of anti-apoptotic protein was observed at the later stages of the development (PN21). Experimental pups had a delay in postnatal growth and development beyond disturb in protein synthesis and some protein expression during development. These changes can be result from hormonal alterations linked to stress and/or hypoxic events caused by maternal epileptic seizures during pregnancy.


Epilepsy Pilocarpine Pregnancy Development Offspring 



The authors are grateful for Hilda da Silva Reis for technical assistance, and Iara Ribeiro Silva for assistance with autorradiography. The study was supported by grants from FAPESP, CAPES, CNPq, PRONEX, CInAPCe, and FAPESP/CNPq/MCT-Instituto Nacional de Neurosciência Translacional.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

We confirm that we have read the Journal’s position on issues involved in ethical publication and affirm that this report is consistent with those guidelines. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.

Conflict of interest statement

None of the authors has any conflict of interest to disclose


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Carolina Cossa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daiana Correia Lima
    • 1
  • Tiago Gurgel do Vale
    • 2
  • Anna Karynna Alves de Alencar Rocha
    • 1
  • Maria da Graça Naffah-Mazzacoratti
    • 1
    • 3
  • Maria José da Silva Fernandes
    • 1
  • Debora Amado
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Neurologia e Neurocirurgia - Disciplina de Neurologia ExperimentalUniversidade Federal de São Paulo, UNIFESPSão PauloBrasil
  2. 2.Centro Universitário São CamiloSão PauloBrasil
  3. 3.Departamento de BioquímicaUniversidade Federal de São PauloSão PauloBrasil

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