The relationship between ventricular dilatation, neuropathological and neurobehavioural changes in hydrocephalic ratsReportar como inadecuado

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Fluids and Barriers of the CNS

, 9:19

First Online: 01 September 2012Received: 10 April 2012Accepted: 06 August 2012


BackgroundThe motor and cognitive deficits observed in hydrocephalus are thought to be due to axonal damage within the periventricular white matter. This study was carried out to investigate the relationship between ventricular size, cellular changes in brain, and neurobehavioural deficits in rats with experimental hydrocephalus.

MethodsHydrocephalus was induced in three-week old rats by intracisternal injection of kaolin. Behavioural and motor function were tested four weeks after hydrocephalus induction and correlated to ventricular enlargement which was classified into mild, moderate or severe. Gross brain morphology, routine histology and immunohistochemistry for oligodendrocytes CNPase, microglia Iba-1 and astrocytes GFAP were performed to assess the cellular changes.

ResultsDecreases in open field activity and forelimb grip strength in hydrocephalus correlated with the degree of ventriculomegaly. Learning in Morris water maze was significantly impaired in hydrocephalic rats. Gradual stretching of the ependymal layer, thinning of the corpus callosum, extracellular oedema and reduced cortical thickness were observed as the degree of ventriculomegaly increased. A gradual loss of oligodendrocytes in the corpus callosum and cerebral cortex was most marked in the severely-hydrocephalic brains, whereas the widespread astrogliosis especially in the subependymal layer was most marked in the brains with mild hydrocephalus. Retraction of microglial processes and increase in Iba-1 immunoreactivity in the white matter was associated ventriculomegaly.

ConclusionsIn hydrocephalic rats, oligodendrocyte loss, microglia activation, astrogliosis in cortical areas and thinning of the corpus callosum were associated with ventriculomegaly. The degree of ventriculomegaly correlated with motor and cognitive deficits.

KeywordsHydrocephalus Cognition Neurobehavioural tests Neuropathology Cell death Inflammation Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-2045-8118-9-19 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Funmilayo Eniola Olopade - Matthew Temitayo Shokunbi - Anna-Leena Sirén


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