Effects of Hypoxic Environment on Prenatal Brain Development: Recent Evidence Versus Earlier Dogma

  • Evangelos A. Petropoulos
  • Paola S. Timiras
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 8)


The hypoxic environment of natural high altitude (HA) is both a challenge and a stress to man and to all living organisms. Survival, fitness and reproduction of the species in this environment depend on adaptive adjustments, which are not only species-specific but also age-specific within a given species, and system-specific within individual animals (Petropoulos and Timiras, 1973); that is to say, the rat responds differently from man, the developing animal from the mature and one body system from another (Petropoulos and Timiras, 1973). Studies from this and other laboratories have confirmed that exposure of rats to natural HA during critical periods of CNS organogenesis and development may alter both the structural and functional maturation of the CNS, and that the duration of exposure and the maturational stage of the CNS at the time of such exposure are significant determinants of the extent and severity of impairment (Heim, 1965; Heim and Timiras, 1964; Jilek et al., 1966; Petropoulos and Timiras, 1973; Petropoulos et al., 1969; Petropoulos et al., 1970; Petropoulos et al., 1972a; Timiras and Woolley, 1966).


High Altitude Fetal Brain Hypoxic Environment Brain Lipid Placental Weight 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evangelos A. Petropoulos
    • 1
  • Paola S. Timiras
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology-Anatomy and White Mountain Research StationUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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