Prenatal choline deficiency does not enhance hippocampal vulnerability after kainic acid-induced seizures in adulthood.
Choline is a vital nutrient needed during early development for both humans and rodents. Severe dietary choline deficiency during pregnancy leads to birth defects, while more limited deficiency during mid- to late pregnancy causes deficits in hippocampal plasticity in adult rodent offspring that are accompanied by cognitive deficits only when task demands are high. Because prenatal choline supplementation confers neuroprotection of the adult hippocampus against a variety of neural insults and aids memory, we hypothesized that prenatal choline deficiency may enhance vulnerability to neural injury. To examine this, adult offspring of rat dams either fed a control diet (CON) or one deficient in choline (DEF) during embryonic days 12-17 were given multiple injections (i.p.) of saline (control) or kainic acid to induce seizures and were euthanized 16 days later. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, DEF rats were not more susceptible to seizure induction and showed similar levels of seizure-induced hippocampal histopathology, GAD expression loss, upregulated hippocampal GFAP and growth factor expression, and increased dentate cell and neuronal proliferation as that seen in CON rats. Although prenatal choline deficiency compromises adult hippocampal plasticity in the intact brain, it does not appear to exacerbate the neuropathological response to seizures in the adult hippocampus at least shortly after excitotoxic injury.
Wong-Goodrich, SJE; Tognoni, CM; Mellott, TJ; Glenn, MJ; Blusztajn, JK; Williams, CL
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