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Prenatal stress and subsequent exposure to chronic mild stress influence dendritic spine density and morphology in the rat medial prefrontal cortex.

Michelsen KA, van den Hove DL, Schmitz C, Segers O, Prickaerts J, Steinbusch HW - BMC Neurosci (2007)

Bottom Line: CMS had a negative effect on spine densities, particularly on spines of the mushroom type, which are considered to form stronger and more stable synapses than other spine types.PS alone did not affect spine densities, but had a negative effect on the ratio of mushroom spines.The observed changes may represent a morphological basis of PS- and CMS-related disturbances, and future studies in the field should not only consider total spine densities, but also separate between different spine types.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. k.michelsen@np.unimaas.nl

ABSTRACT

Background: Both prenatal stress (PS) and postnatal chronic mild stress (CMS) are associated with behavioral and mood disturbances in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to reveal putative PS- and/or CMS-related changes in basal spine morphology and density of pyramidal neurons in the rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC).

Results: We show that rats exposed to PS and/or CMS display changes in the morphology and number of basal spines on pyramidal neurons in the mPFC. CMS had a negative effect on spine densities, particularly on spines of the mushroom type, which are considered to form stronger and more stable synapses than other spine types. PS alone did not affect spine densities, but had a negative effect on the ratio of mushroom spines. In addition, PS seemed to make rats less responsive to some of the negative effects of CMS, which supports the notion that PS represents a predictive adaptive response.

Conclusion: The observed changes may represent a morphological basis of PS- and CMS-related disturbances, and future studies in the field should not only consider total spine densities, but also separate between different spine types.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

A coronal section through the rat brain illustrating the mPFC (shaded area). The mPFC consists of a dorsal mPFC (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and dorsal part of the prelimbic cortex) and a ventral mPFC (ventral part of the prelimbic cortex and infralimbic cortex) [9]. Neurons were filled in coronal sections at approximately 1.7 mm to 3.7 mm from bregma. ACd: dorsal anterior cingulated cortex; PL: prelimbic cortex; IL: infralimbic cortex; OFC: orbitofrontal cortex. Modified after [35].
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Figure 1: A coronal section through the rat brain illustrating the mPFC (shaded area). The mPFC consists of a dorsal mPFC (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and dorsal part of the prelimbic cortex) and a ventral mPFC (ventral part of the prelimbic cortex and infralimbic cortex) [9]. Neurons were filled in coronal sections at approximately 1.7 mm to 3.7 mm from bregma. ACd: dorsal anterior cingulated cortex; PL: prelimbic cortex; IL: infralimbic cortex; OFC: orbitofrontal cortex. Modified after [35].

Mentions: Of special interest in the psychopathology of PS and CMS is the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The rat mPFC consists of a dorsal part, which includes the anterior cingulate cortex, and a ventral part [9] (Fig. 1). Both parts are implicated in executive function and, thus, the mPFC provides flexibility to affective processing [10,11]. Moreover, it has recently been demonstrated that both the dorsal [12,13] and ventral part [14,15] of the mPFC determine how a stressor is controlled, at the level of brain structure activity as well as behavioral response. Thus, the mPFC may protect the subject against depression [16]. Along similar lines, the corresponding prefrontal areas in humans are decreased in volume [17], show a lower tissue organization [18,19] and have specific changes in energy metabolism [20] in depression.


Prenatal stress and subsequent exposure to chronic mild stress influence dendritic spine density and morphology in the rat medial prefrontal cortex.

Michelsen KA, van den Hove DL, Schmitz C, Segers O, Prickaerts J, Steinbusch HW - BMC Neurosci (2007)

A coronal section through the rat brain illustrating the mPFC (shaded area). The mPFC consists of a dorsal mPFC (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and dorsal part of the prelimbic cortex) and a ventral mPFC (ventral part of the prelimbic cortex and infralimbic cortex) [9]. Neurons were filled in coronal sections at approximately 1.7 mm to 3.7 mm from bregma. ACd: dorsal anterior cingulated cortex; PL: prelimbic cortex; IL: infralimbic cortex; OFC: orbitofrontal cortex. Modified after [35].
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2266759&req=5

Figure 1: A coronal section through the rat brain illustrating the mPFC (shaded area). The mPFC consists of a dorsal mPFC (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and dorsal part of the prelimbic cortex) and a ventral mPFC (ventral part of the prelimbic cortex and infralimbic cortex) [9]. Neurons were filled in coronal sections at approximately 1.7 mm to 3.7 mm from bregma. ACd: dorsal anterior cingulated cortex; PL: prelimbic cortex; IL: infralimbic cortex; OFC: orbitofrontal cortex. Modified after [35].
Mentions: Of special interest in the psychopathology of PS and CMS is the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The rat mPFC consists of a dorsal part, which includes the anterior cingulate cortex, and a ventral part [9] (Fig. 1). Both parts are implicated in executive function and, thus, the mPFC provides flexibility to affective processing [10,11]. Moreover, it has recently been demonstrated that both the dorsal [12,13] and ventral part [14,15] of the mPFC determine how a stressor is controlled, at the level of brain structure activity as well as behavioral response. Thus, the mPFC may protect the subject against depression [16]. Along similar lines, the corresponding prefrontal areas in humans are decreased in volume [17], show a lower tissue organization [18,19] and have specific changes in energy metabolism [20] in depression.

Bottom Line: CMS had a negative effect on spine densities, particularly on spines of the mushroom type, which are considered to form stronger and more stable synapses than other spine types.PS alone did not affect spine densities, but had a negative effect on the ratio of mushroom spines.The observed changes may represent a morphological basis of PS- and CMS-related disturbances, and future studies in the field should not only consider total spine densities, but also separate between different spine types.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. k.michelsen@np.unimaas.nl

ABSTRACT

Background: Both prenatal stress (PS) and postnatal chronic mild stress (CMS) are associated with behavioral and mood disturbances in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to reveal putative PS- and/or CMS-related changes in basal spine morphology and density of pyramidal neurons in the rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC).

Results: We show that rats exposed to PS and/or CMS display changes in the morphology and number of basal spines on pyramidal neurons in the mPFC. CMS had a negative effect on spine densities, particularly on spines of the mushroom type, which are considered to form stronger and more stable synapses than other spine types. PS alone did not affect spine densities, but had a negative effect on the ratio of mushroom spines. In addition, PS seemed to make rats less responsive to some of the negative effects of CMS, which supports the notion that PS represents a predictive adaptive response.

Conclusion: The observed changes may represent a morphological basis of PS- and CMS-related disturbances, and future studies in the field should not only consider total spine densities, but also separate between different spine types.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus