Water maze experience and prenatal choline supplementation differentially promote long-term hippocampal recovery from seizures in adulthood.
Status epilepticus (SE) in adulthood dramatically alters the hippocampus and produces spatial learning and memory deficits. Some factors, like environmental enrichment and exercise, may promote functional recovery from SE. Prenatal choline supplementation (SUP) also protects against spatial memory deficits observed shortly after SE in adulthood, and we have previously reported that SUP attenuates the neuropathological response to SE in the adult hippocampus just 16 days after SE. It is unknown whether SUP can ameliorate longer-term cognitive and neuropathological consequences of SE, whether repeatedly engaging the injured hippocampus in a cognitive task might facilitate recovery from SE, and whether our prophylactic prenatal dietary treatment would enable the injured hippocampus to more effectively benefit from cognitive rehabilitation. To address these issues, adult offspring from rat dams that received either a control (CON) or SUP diet on embryonic days 12-17 first received training on a place learning water maze task (WM) and were then administered saline or kainic acid (KA) to induce SE. Rats then either remained in their home cage, or received three additional WM sessions at 3, 6.5, and 10 weeks after SE to test spatial learning and memory retention. Eleven weeks after SE, the brains were analyzed for several hippocampal markers known to be altered by SE. SUP attenuated SE-induced spatial learning deficits and completely rescued spatial memory retention by 10 weeks post-SE. Repeated WM experience prevented SE-induced declines in glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) and dentate gyrus neurogenesis, and attenuated increased glial fibrilary acidic protein (GFAP) levels. Remarkably, SUP alone was similarly protective to an even greater extent, and SUP rats that were water maze trained after SE showed reduced hilar migration of newborn neurons. These findings suggest that prophylactic SUP is protective against the long-term cognitive and neuropathological effects of KA-induced SE, and that rehabilitative cognitive enrichment may be partially beneficial.
Wong-Goodrich, SJE; Glenn, MJ; Mellott, TJ; Liu, YB; Blusztajn, JK; Williams, CL
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