Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury Alters Brain Acylcarnitine Levels in a Mouse Model

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3 Scopus citations


Hypoxic-ischemic brain injury (HIBI) leads to depletion of ATP, mitochondrial dysfunction, and enhanced oxidant formation. Measurement of acylcarnitines may provide insight into mitochondrial dysfunction. Plasma acylcarnitine levels are altered in neonates after an HIBI, but individual acylcarnitine levels in the brain have not been evaluated. Additionally, it is unknown if plasma acylcarnitines reflect brain acylcarnitine changes. In this study, postnatal day 9 CD1 mouse pups were randomized to HIBI induced by carotid artery ligation, followed by 30 min at 8% oxygen, or to sham surgery and normoxia, with subgroups for tissue collection at 30 min, 24 h, or 72 h after injury (12 animals/group). Plasma, liver, muscle, and brain (dissected into the cortex, cerebellum, and striatum/thalamus) tissues were collected for acylcarnitine analysis by LC-MS. At 30 min after HIBI, acylcarnitine levels were significantly increased, but the differences resolved by 24 h. Palmitoylcarnitine was increased in the cortex, muscle, and plasma, and stearoylcarnitine in the cortex, striatum/thalamus, and cerebellum. Other acylcarnitines were elevated only in the muscle and plasma. In conclusion, although plasma acylcarnitine results in this study mimic those seen previously in humans, our data suggest that the plasma acylcarnitine profile was more reflective of muscle changes than brain changes. Acylcarnitine metabolism may be a target for therapeutic intervention after neonatal HIBI, though the lack of change after 30 min suggests a limited therapeutic window.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number467
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • asphyxia
  • biomarker
  • carnitine
  • encephalopathy
  • plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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