Author(s): Lambert KG, Buckelew SK, StaffisoSandoz G, Gaffga S, Carpenter W,
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Abstract Recently, researchers have demonstrated the damaging effect of restraint-stress on hippocampal neurons. The purpose of the present study was to determine if a more chronic stressor, i.e., activity-stress (A-S), would also result in hippocampal dendritic atrophy. When activity-stress (n = 6) rats showed evidence of the criteria "stress symptoms" (after an average of 6 days), they were sacrificed and their brains were quickly removed, blocked, and placed in Golgi-Cox solution. Food-yoked control animals (n = 6) were sacrificed on the following day. Serial coronal sections (150 um) of the rostral hippocampus were cut so that the CA3 and CAI areas could be analyzed. Stressed short-shaft neurons were significantly shorter and had fewer branch points in CA1 and CA3 neurons than the control neurons. A similar nonsignificant trend was observed in long-shaft neurons. These data suggest that a short period of chronic stress (6 days as opposed to 21 days in prior studies) induces neuronal atrophy in the hippocampus.
This article was published in Physiol Behav
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology