Investigation of hippocampal development during a protracted postnatal period in control and fetal alcohol wistar rats

Elibol Can, Birsen
Behavioral deficits caused by fetal-alcohol are well expressed in juvenile subjects but usually ameliorate with maturation. It suggests some kind of postnatal regeneration. The aim of the present study was to examine the potential correlation between behavioral recovery and the postnatal hippocampal development in the fetal-alcohol rats. This study included behavioral tests applied to juvenile and adult subjects, unbiased stereology to investigate changes in neuron numbers and hippocampal volumes, the postnatal tracing and analysis of the hippocampal principal neuron’s morphology, investigation of age-dependent changes in the distribution of doublecortin-expressing neurons, and evaluation of synaptic development by assessing age-dependent changes in the regional immunoreactivity/expression of synaptophysin and PSD95. Rats have been exposed to ethanol throughout 7-21 gestation days with daily ethanol dose of 6g/kg delivered by intragastric intubation to the pregnant dams. The morphological characteristics were examined on postnatal days P1, P10, P30, P60, in hippocampal CA1, CA3, and DG subregions, in fetal-alcohol and control rats. Both, stereological and doublecortin-immunoreactivity data pointed towards a possibility of limited neurogenesis taking place during a protracted postnatal period not only in the germinal zones (SGZ and SVZ) but also in the hippocampal CA regions. Ethanol effect on postnatal hippocampal development was limited to marginally lower number of granular cells in DG on P30. It correlated with poorer cognitive performance in the fetal-alcohol group. The treatment effect on the morphology of hippocampal neurons was observed mainly in CA region at P1 and seemed to be attributed more to the intubation stress than the ethanol itself.


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Citation Formats
B. Elibol Can, “Investigation of hippocampal development during a protracted postnatal period in control and fetal alcohol wistar rats,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.