Center of Experimental Morphology

Departamento de Anatomia - Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto

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Prolonged protein deprivation differentially affects calretinin- and parvalbumin-containing interneurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of adult rats


Research Area: Uncategorized Year: 2013
Type of Publication: Article
Authors:
Journal: Neurosci Lett
Number: 555 Pages: 154-8
BibTex:
Abstract:
Protein deprivation is a detrimental nutritional state that induces several deleterious changes in the rat hippocampal formation. In this study, we compared the effects of protein deprivation in the number of parvalbumin (PV)-immunoreactive and calretinin (CR)-immunoreactive interneurons of the dentate gyrus, which are involved in the control of calcium homeostasis and fine tuning of the hippocampal circuits. Two month-old rats were randomly assigned to control and low-protein diet groups. The rats of the latter group were fed with a low-protein diet (8% casein) for 6 months. All animals were perfused at 8 months of age. The number of neurons expressing CR in the molecular layer and in the hilus of dentate gyrus was reduced in protein-deprived rats. Conversely, protein deprivation increased the number of PV-containing interneurons in the dentate granule cell layer and hilus. These results support the view that protein deprivation may disturb calcium homeostasis, leading to neuronal death including GABAergic interneurons expressing CR. In the other hand, the up-regulation of PV cells may reflect a protective mechanism to counteract the calcium overload and protect the remaining neurons of the dentate gyrus.

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