Stress-induced changes in synaptic morphology in rat CA1 hippocampus [poster presentation]

Donohue, H.S.; Gabbott, P.L.A.; Davies, H.A.; Cordero, M.I.; Rodriguez, J.J.; Peddie, C.J.; Colyer, F.M.; Sandi, C. and Stewart, M.G. (2004). Stress-induced changes in synaptic morphology in rat CA1 hippocampus [poster presentation]. In: FENS Forum 2004 (4th Forum of European Neuroscience), 10-14 Jul 2004, Lisbon, Portugal, p. 455.



[Poster]: Ultrastructural studies in our laboratory have demonstrated that restraint stress significantly reduces axospinous synaptic density in the CA3 subfield of the rat hippocampus (Sandi et al. Euro. J. Neurosci. 17: 2446-2476). Because the CA1 subfield receives direct innervation from CA3 and is the major output area of the hippocampus, we examined the effects of restraint stress upon synaptic parameters in this strategic region.
An unbiased stereological approach was used to compare numerical asymmetrical synaptic densities (Nv) and post-synaptic membrane lengths, between control and stress (restraint stress; 6h/day for 21 days started at c. 13wks of age) groups in CA1 hippocampus of rats (n=3, per experimental group). Measurements were taken throughout the stratum radiatum (StRad) and lacunosum moleculare (LacMol). Our data show that no statistically significant changes occur in Nv or post synaptic membrane length within the StRad of CA1. However, further statistical analysis (Student’s two-tailed t-test) reveal a significant increase in the lengths of individual post-synaptic membranes in the LacMol of CA1 (control group mean = 252.4nm; stress group mean = 355.2nm; p=0.027).
These results indicate a stress-induced remodelling of synaptic connectivity in LacMol of CA1 that may underlie neurobiological mechanisms related to stress.

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