Ultrastructural features and synaptic connections of hilar ectopic granule cells in the rat dentate gyrus are different from those of granule cells in the granule cell layer.
ABSTRACT Several investigators have shown the existence of dentate granule cells in ectopic locations within the hilus and molecular layer using both Golgi and retrograde tracing studies but the ultrastructural features and synaptic connections of ectopic granule cells were not previously examined. In the present study, the biocytin retrograde tracing technique was used to label ectopic granule cells following injections into stratum lucidum of CA3b of hippocampal slices obtained from epileptic rats. Electron microscopy was used to study hilar ectopic granule cells that were located 20-40 microm from the granule cell layer (GCL). They had ultrastructural features similar to those of granule cells in the GCL but showed differences, including nuclei that often displayed infoldings and thicker apical dendrites. At their origin, these dendrites were 6 microm in diameter and they tapered down to 2 microm at the border with the GCL. Both biocytin-labeled and unlabeled axon terminals formed exclusively asymmetric synapses with the somata and proximal dendrites of hilar ectopic granule cells. The mean number of axosomatic synapses for these cells was three times that for granule cells in the GCL. Together, these data indicate that hilar ectopic granule cells are postsynaptic to mossy fibers and have less inhibitory input on their somata and proximal dendrites than granule cells in the GCL. This finding is consistent with recent physiological results showing that hilar ectopic granule cells from epileptic rats are more hyperexcitable than granule cells in the GCL.
Article: Repeated PTZ treatment at 25-day intervals leads to a highly efficient accumulation of doublecortin in the dorsal hippocampus of rats.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neurogenesis persists throughout life in the adult mammalian brain. Because neurogenesis can only be assessed in postmortem tissue, its functional significance remains undetermined, and identifying an in vivo correlate of neurogenesis has become an important goal. By studying pentylenetetrazole-induced brain stimulation in a rat model of kindling we accidentally discovered that 25±1 days periodic stimulation of Sprague-Dawley rats led to a highly efficient increase in seizure susceptibility. By EEG, RT-PCR, western blotting and immunohistochemistry, we show that repeated convulsive seizures with a periodicity of 25±1 days led to an enrichment of newly generated neurons, that were BrdU-positive in the dentate gyrus at day 25±1 post-seizure. At the same time, there was a massive increase in the number of neurons expressing the migratory marker, doublecortin, at the boundary between the granule cell layer and the polymorphic layer in the dorsal hippocampus. Some of these migrating neurons were also positive for NeuN, a marker for adult neurons. Our results suggest that the increased susceptibility to seizure at day 25±1 post-treatment is coincident with a critical time required for newborn neurons to differentiate and integrate into the existing hippocampal network, and outlines the importance of the dorsal hippocampus for seizure-related neurogenesis. This model can be used as an in vivo correlate of neurogenesis to study basic questions related to neurogenesis and to the neurogenic mechanisms that contribute to the development of epilepsy.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(6):e39302. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Qualitative analysis of hippocampal plastic changes in rats with epilepsy supplemented with oral omega-3 fatty acids.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Studies have provided evidence of the important effects of omega-3 fatty acid on the brain in neurological conditions, including epilepsy. Previous data have indicated that omega-3 fatty acids lead to prevention of status epilepticus-associated neuropathological changes in the hippocampal formation of rats with epilepsy. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has resulted in extensive preservation of GABAergic cells in animals with epilepsy. This study investigated the interplay of these effects with neurogenesis and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The results clearly showed a positive effect of long-term omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on brain plasticity in animals with epilepsy. Enhanced hippocampal neurogenesis and BDNF levels and preservation of interneurons expressing parvalbumin were observed. Parvalbumin-positive cells were identified as surviving instead of newly formed cells. Additional investigations are needed to determine the electrophysiological properties of the newly formed cells and to clarify whether the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on brain plasticity are accompanied by functional gain in animals with epilepsy.Epilepsy & Behavior 12/2009; 17(1):33-8. · 2.34 Impact Factor
Article: Seizure-induced Increased Neurogenesis Occurs in the Dentate Gyrus of Aged Sprague-Dawley Rats.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus persists throughout the lifespan of mammals, however, the rate of neurogenesis decreases as the animal ages. Although seizures increase neurogenesis in young adult brains, this relationship has not been shown in aged animals. Using doublecortin (DCX) immunocytochemistry, the number of DCX-labeled cells in the dentate gyrus from aged rats (23 months of age) was assessed 30 days following pilocarpine-induced seizures and was compared to the number obtained from age-matched control rats. DCX-labeled cells were located in the subgranular zone, at the border between the hilus and the granule cell layer, and within the granule cell layer in both epileptic and control aged brains. When comparing the aged epileptic rats to age-matched controls, there was a significant increase in the number of DCX-labeled cells that was almost four and a half-fold. Therefore, aged rats also display an increase in adult neurogenesis following seizures.Aging and disease. 08/2011; 2(4):286-93.