Author(s): Blaise SA, Ndlec E, Schroeder H, Alberto JM, BossenmeyerPouri C,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Hyperhomocysteinemia has been identified as a risk factor for neurological disorders. To study the influence of early deficiency in nutritional determinants of hyperhomocysteinemia on the developing rat brain, dams were fed a standard diet or a diet lacking methyl groups during gestation and lactation. Homocysteinemia progressively increased in the offspring of the deficient group and at 21 days reached 13.3+/-3.7 micromol/L versus 6.8+/-0.3 micromol/L in controls. Homocysteine accumulated in both neurons and astrocytes of selective brain structures including the hippocampus, the cerebellum, the striatum, and the neurogenic subventricular zone. Most homocysteine-positive cells expressed p53 and displayed fragmented DNA indicative of apoptosis. Righting reflex and negative geotaxis revealed a delay in the onset of integration capacities in the deficient group. Between 19 and 21 days, a poorer success score was recorded in deficient animals in a locomotor coordination test. A switch to normal food after weaning allowed restoration of normal homocysteinemia. Nevertheless, at 80 days of age, the exploratory behavior in the elevated-plus maze and the learning and memory behavior in the eight-arm maze revealed that early vitamin B deprivation is associated with persistent functional disabilities, possibly resulting from the ensuing neurotoxic effects of homocysteine.
This article was published in Am J Pathol
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy