Section 13
Chapter 12,442

Pregnenolone and dehydroepiandrosterone administration in neonatal rats alters the immunoreactivity of hippocampal synapsin I, neuropeptide y and glial fibrillary acidic protein at post-puberty

Shirayama, Y.; Muneoka, K.T.; Iwata, M.; Ishida, H.; Hazama, G.; Kawahara, R.

Neuroscience 133(1): 147-157


ISSN/ISBN: 0306-4522
PMID: 15893638
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2005.01.051
Accession: 012441311

It is well documented that neurosteroids administered during the neonatal period influence the development of several brain systems. In our previous study, pregnenolone administered to rats during the neonatal period altered adenosinergic and dopaminergic functions in the striatum and cerebral cortex. The present study examined the effects of the treatment with pregnenolone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) from the postnatal day (P) 3-P7 on synapsin I (a marker for presynaptic terminals) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP: a marker for astroglia) levels in the hippocampus of Sprague-Dawley rats at 3 and 7 weeks of age. In addition, neuropeptide Y and dynorphin A immunoreactivity was measured. The administration of pregnenolone and DHEA to neonatal rats significantly altered the expression of synapsin I in the dentate gyrus and CA3 region at post-puberty but not at pre-puberty. A significantly greater expression of GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes or processes was demonstrated in the pregnenolone- and DHEA-treated groups at both pre-puberty and post-puberty. A significant increase in the number and size of GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes and in the extension of arborization was seen in the overall hippocampus. The number of neuropeptide Y-positive cells in the hilus region was also significantly increased in the neurosteroid-treated group at post-puberty. No differences were detected in dynorphin A immunoreactivity among the experimental groups. These results of this study suggest that pregnenolone and DHEA play an important role in the development of hippocampus.

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