Prenatal choline exposure alters hippocampal responsiveness to cholinergic stimulation in adulthood.
Manipulation of dietary choline levels during gestation results in enduring neurobehavioral changes in offspring that last into adulthood. Alterations of hippocampal function and memory are among the most striking changes. Depending upon the measures assessed, prenatal choline supplementation tends to promote excitatory synaptic efficacy in hippocampal circuits while prenatal choline deficiency diminishes it. However, the mechanisms underlying these changes remain unclear. Transverse hippocampal slices were prepared from adult offspring of dams fed choline supplemented, choline deficient, or control diets. We assessed paired-pulse inhibition, and excitatory synaptic responsiveness before and after activation of cholinergic receptors with Carbachol. Prenatally choline deficient animals yielded significantly fewer electrophysiological viable hippocampal slices than did animals from either of the other two treatment groups. Among the slices tested, there were no differences in paired pulse inhibition between the treatment groups. However, transient cholinergic activation resulted in a prolonged enhancement of the amplitude of the population EPSP (pEPSP) response in slices from prenatally choline supplemented animals. These results suggest that GABA receptor-mediated inhibition remains intact after prenatal choline manipulations, and that enhancement of the excitatory responsiveness of hippocampal circuits in slices from prenatally choline supplemented rats may be related in part to an increase in cholinergic tone within the CA1 circuit.
Montoya, DA; White, AM; Williams, CL; Blusztajn, JK; Meck, WH; Swartzwelder, HS
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