Prolonged maternal separation decreases granule cell number in the dentate gyrus of 3-week-old male rats
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, ISSN 0736-5748, E-ISSN 1873-474X, Vol. 28, no 2, 139-144 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Maternal separation (MS) early in life affects many aspects of development and we have previously observed significant decreases in NMDA and AMPA receptor and elevated glutamate transporter expression in the hippocampus of MS360 animals relative to MS15. We hypothesized that this disruption of the glutamatergic system in adult animals was a sign of a reduction in hippocampal neuronal number in 3-week-old animals. Male Wistar rat pups were separated litter-wise for 15 min (MS15) or 360 min (MS360) from postnatal day 1 to 21. Conventional laboratory reared animals were also included. At postnatal day 22, brains were dissected and sliced on a cryostat. Immunohistochemistry labeled neurons (NeuN) and astrocytes (GFAP) and the number of neurons was quantified using the disector method and Cavalieri principle for stereology for the CA1, CA2, CA3 and dentate gyrus regions of the hippocampus. The volume of 4 regions did not differ across the 3 experimental groups. Numerical density of neurons, however, was significantly different in CA3 (one-way ANOVA; p=0.044) and the dentate gyrus (one-way ANOVA; p<0.0001) with post hoc differences MS360 vs. MS15. Finally, the total number of neurons was calculated and MS360 animals had significantly fewer neurons than MS15 animals in the dentate gyrus. Therefore, the maternal separation procedure affected development of the hippocampus directly at 3 weeks of age. The differences observed consequently place young MS360 animals in a vulnerable state for challenges later in life.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 28, no 2, 139-144 p.
Early life stress, Stereology, Hippocampus, Development, Neurotoxicity, Immunohistochemistry
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-124369DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2009.12.005ISI: 000276381700004PubMedID: 20079421OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-124369DiVA: diva2:317439