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In the present work we examined the ability of prenatally malnourished offspring to produce and maintain long-term potentiation (LTP) of the perforant path/dentate granule cell synapse in freely moving rats at 15,30, and 90 days of age. Population spike amplitude (PSA) was calculated from dentate field potential recordings prior to and at 15, 30, 60 min. and 3, 5, 18 and 24 h following tetanization of the perforant pathway. All animals of both malnourished and well-nourished diet groups at 15 days of age showed potentiation of PSA measures but the measures obtained from 15-day-old prenatally malnourished animals were significantly less than that of age-matched, well-nourished controls. At 30 days of age, remarkable effect of tetanization was likely observed from PSA measures for this age group followed much the same pattern. At 90 days of age, PSA measures obtained from malnourished animals decreased from pretetanization levels immediately following tetanization. At this age, however, at three hours time recordings, this measure growing up to a level which did not differ significantly from that of the control group. These results indicate that the width of tetanization induced enhancement of dentate granule cell response in preweanling rats (15-day-old animals) is signifacantly affected fromgestational protein malnutrition and this trend is kept in animals tested at 30 and 90 days of age. The fact, however, that considerable limitation in LTP generation was gained from prenatally malnourished animals at 90 days of age, implying that dietary rehabilitation starting at birth is an intervention strategy not capable to imbrove the effects of the gestational stress.
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