Long-lasting effects of prenatal MAM treatment on water maze performance in rats: Associations with altered brain development and neurotrophin levels

Marco Fiore, Jakob Korf, Alessia Antonelli, Lucia Talamini, Luigi Aloe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We previously reported that prenatal methylazoxymethanol (MAM) administered on days 11 and 12 of rat pregnancy induces structural changes in the cytoarchitecture of the hippocampal-entorhinal axis. We also showed that young and middle-aged prenatally treated MAM animals displayed changes in brain neurotrophin levels [Neurosci. Lett. 309 (2001) 113; Physiol. Behav. 71 (2000) 57.]. To continue this line of investigation, the working hypothesis adopted was that prenatal MAM administration, by interfering with limbic neurogenesis, could impair learning and memory ability of aged animals in the water maze. It was found that injection of MAM during early rat brain development induced deficits in both the acquisition and retention phases of the Morris maze. These behavioral changes were associated with significant changes in brain nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), reduced choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunoreactivity in forebrain cholinergic neurons and loss of neuropeptide Y (NPY) immunodistribution in cells of the entorhinal cortex. This finding, as well as confirming previous studies showing that injection of prenatal MAM administration induces significant changes in hippocampal-entorhinal axis neurogenesis and marked behavioral deficits in adult life, provides additional experimental evidence supporting the hypothesis that loss of NGF and/or BDNF-receptive or producing cells can co-occur at the onset of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-191
Number of pages13
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • BDNF
  • Behavior
  • ChAT
  • NGF
  • NPY

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology

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