Center of Experimental Morphology

Departamento de Anatomia - Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto

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Loss of hippocampal neurons after kainate treatment correlates with behavioral deficits

Research Area: Uncategorized Year: 2014
Type of Publication: Article
Journal: PLoS One
Number: 9(1
Treating rats with kainic acid induces status epilepticus (SE) and leads to the development of behavioral deficits and spontaneous recurrent seizures later in life. However, in a subset of rats, kainic acid treatment does not induce overt behaviorally obvious acute SE. The goal of this study was to compare the neuroanatomical and behavioral changes induced by kainate in rats that developed convulsive SE to those who did not. Adult male Wistar rats were treated with kainic acid and tested behaviorally 5 months later. Rats that had experienced convulsive SE showed impaired performance on the spatial water maze and passive avoidance tasks, and on the context and tone retention tests following fear conditioning. In addition, they exhibited less anxiety-like behaviors than controls on the open-field and elevated plus-maze tests. Histologically, convulsive SE was associated with marked neuron loss in the hippocampal CA3 and CA1 fields, and in the dentate hilus. Rats that had not experienced convulsive SE after kainate treatment showed less severe, but significant impairments on the spatial water maze and passive avoidance tasks. These rats had fewer neurons than control rats in the dentate hilus, but not in the hippocampal CA3 and CA1 fields. Correlational analyses revealed significant relationships between spatial memory indices of rats and neuronal numbers in the dentate hilus and CA3 pyramidal field. These results show that a part of the animals that do not display intense behavioral seizures (convulsive SE) immediately after an epileptogenic treatment, later in life, they may still have noticeable structural and functional changes in the brain.

Centro de Morfologia Experimental
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto
Al. Professor Hernâni Monteiro
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