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TitleGestational protein restriction induces CA3 dendritic atrophy in dorsal hippocampal neurons but does not alter learning and memory performance in adult offspring
Author(s)Lopes, A.
Torres, D. B.
Rodrigues, Ana João
Cerqueira, João
Pêgo, José M.
Sousa, Nuno
Gontijo, J. A. R.
Boer, P. A.
KeywordsFetal programming
Dendritic remodeling
Protein restriction
Issue date24-May-2013
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Abstract(s)Studies have demonstrated that nutrient deficiency during pregnancy or in early postnatal life results in structural abnormalities in the offspring hippocampus and in cognitive impairment. In an attempt to analyze whether gestational protein restriction might induce learning and memory impairments associated with structural changes in the hippocampus, we carried out a detailed morphometric analysis of the hippocampus of male adult rats together with the behavioral characterization of these animals in the Morris water maze (MWM). Our results demonstrate that gestational protein restriction leads to a decrease in total basal dendritic length and in the number of intersections of CA3 pyramidal neurons whereas the cytoarchitecture of CA1 and dentate gyrus remained unchanged. Despite presenting significant structural rearrangements, we did not observe impairments in the MWM test. Considering the clear dissociation between the behavioral profile and the hippocampus neuronal changes, the functional significance of dendritic remodeling in fetal processing remains undisclosed.
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Appears in Collections:ICVS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais com Referee

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