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Title: Neonatal exposure to monosodium L-glutamate induces loss of neurons and cytoarchitectural alterations in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons of adult rats
Author: Beas-Zárate, Carlos
Perez-Vega, M.I.
Gonzalez-Burgos, I.
Issue Date: 2002
Abstract: Glutamatergic post-synaptic receptors are closely related to the known excitotoxic effects of high doses of L-glutamate. Several behavioral abnormalities, glial reaction, and an increase of expression of the NMDA receptor sub-units have been observed in the rat hippocampus after early monosodium glutamate exposure. Thus, a quantitative morphological study was carried out to determine the effects of early exposure to monosodium glutamate on post-synaptic structures that mediate glutamate excitatory neurotransmission in the hippocampal CA1 field. Four milligrams per gram body weight of monosodium glutamate was subcutaneously injected into neonatal Wistar rats, at 1, 3, 5, and 7 days. Cell loss and several cytoarchitectonic parameters were evaluated in pyramidal cells from the hippocampal CA1 field in the treated rats at 60 days of age. An untreated group of rats were used as controls. Cell number in the hippocampus of experimental rats was 11.5% less than that in control animals. In addition, both dendritic arborization and dendritic spine density were adversely affected, and thin and mushroom-shaped spines became proportionally more numerous, while the opposite occurred to stubby spines. These results strongly suggest the occurrence of cell death and also show some cytoarchitectural modifications in the surviving neurons. These could lead to functional alterations in the hippocampal integrative activity, due to an early cytoexcitotoxic effect of monosodium glutamate. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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