[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Perinatal choline supplementation in rats is neuroprotective against insults such as fetal alcohol exposure, seizures, and advanced age. In the present study we explored whether dietary choline supplementation may also confer protection from psychological challenges, like stress, and act as a natural buffer against stress-linked psychological disorders, like depression. We previously found that choline supplementation increased adult hippocampal neurogenesis, a function compromised by stress, lowered in depression, and boosted by antidepressants; and increased levels of growth factors linked to depression, like brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Together, these were compelling reasons to study the role of choline in depressed mood. To do this, we treated rats with a choline supplemented diet (5 mg/kg choline chloride in AIN76A) prenatally on embryonic days 10-22, on postnatal days (PD) 25-50, or as adults from PD75 onward. Outside of these treatment periods rats were fed a standard diet (1.1 mg/kg choline chloride in AIN76A); control rats consumed only this diet throughout the study. Starting on PD100 rats' anxiety-like responses to an open field, learning in a water maze, and reactivity to forced swimming were assessed. Rats given choline supplementation during pre- or post-natal development, but not adult-treated rats, were less anxious in the open field and less immobile in the forced swim test than control rats. These effects were not mediated by a learning deficit as all groups performed comparably and well in the water maze. Thus, we offer compelling support for the hypothesis that supplemental dietary choline, at least when given during development, may inoculate an individual against stress and major psychological disorders, like depression.
Brain research 03/2012; 1443:52-63. · 2.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hippocampus develops rapidly during the late fetal and early postnatal periods. Fetal/neonatal iron deficiency anemia (IDA) alters the genomic expression, neurometabolism and electrophysiology of the hippocampus during the period of IDA and, strikingly, in adulthood despite neonatal iron treatment. To determine how early IDA affects the structural development of the apical dendrite arbor in hippocampal area CA1 in the offspring, pregnant rat dams were given an iron-deficient (ID) diet between gestational day 2 and postnatal day (P) 7 followed by rescue with an iron-sufficient (IS) diet. Apical dendrite morphology in hippocampus area CA1 was assessed at P15, P30 and P70 by Scholl analysis of Golgi-Cox-stained neurons. Messenger RNA levels of nine cytoplasmic and transmembrane proteins that are critical for dendrite growth were analyzed at P7, P15, P30 and P65 by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The ID group had reduced transcript levels of proteins that modify actin and tubulin dynamics [e.g. cofilin-1 (Cfl-1), profilin-1 (Pfn-1), and profilin-2 (Pfn-2)] at P7, followed at P15 by a proximal shift in peak branching, thinner third-generation dendritic branches and smaller-diameter spine heads. At P30, iron treatment since P7 resulted in recovery of all transcripts and structural components except for a continued proximal shift in peak branching. Nevertheless, at P65-P70, the formerly ID group showed a 32% reduction in 9 mRNA transcripts, including Cfl-1 and Pfn-1 and Pfn-2, accompanied by 25% fewer branches, that were also proximally shifted. These alterations may be due to early-life programming of genes important for structural plasticity during adulthood and may contribute to the abnormal long-term electrophysiology and recognition memory behavior that follows early iron deficiency.
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