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Home » Archive » 2013

TDK conference 2013

Short-term caloric restriction induced ultrastructural changes in rat hippocampus
Babits Réka Blanka - year 3
SzIU, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department of Anatomy and Histology
Supervisor: Rácz Bence DVM

Abstract:

The recent epidemic of obesity has stimulated extensive research to identify brain regions where metabolic and hormonal signals modify food intake. Accumulating evidence suggest that major component of this problem involves learned behavior; thus, the role of learning and memory in the control of eating, appetitive- and food searching behavior must be considered in order to understand underlying neuronal mechanisms. Recently, the hippocampus - a brain area critical to learning and memory - is in the focus of scientific attention because of its involvement in various neural functions. Beyond coding spatiotemporal context, this brain area plays an important role in encoding relationships between internal states (especially thirst or hunger) and action, thus providing a mechanism by which motivation and memory are coordinated to guide behavior. Interestingly, ghrelin (a hormone produced by the stomach) can generate synaptogenesis and long-term potentiation (LTP) within the hippocampus. Besides inducing physiological changes in hippocampal activity, appetitive drives likely trigger morphological changes in this plastic network. It is common wisdom that learning processes can induce such morphological changes. However, we have very little knowledge about the possible structural consequences of specific metabolic conditions in the synaptic neuropil in the hippocampus. In our study, we analyzed the effect of caloric restriction using quantitative electron microscopy in the rat hippocampus. As morphing of dendritic spines play a key role in synaptic efficacy, we studied the CA1 stratum radiatum and the stratum moleculare of the dentate gyrus – spine rich areas known to be involved in the establishment of long term synaptic changes. According to our results, short-term caloric restriction can already induce specific ultrastructural changes in hippocampus.

This study was supported by OTKA grant# K80803



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