An NCAM mimetic, FGL, alters hippocampal cellular morphometry in young adult (4 month-old) rats

Ojo, Bunmi; Gabbott, Paul L.; Rezaie, Payam; Corbett, Nicola; Medvedev, Nikolay I.; Cowley, Thelma R.; Lynch, Marina and Stewart, Michael G. (2013). An NCAM mimetic, FGL, alters hippocampal cellular morphometry in young adult (4 month-old) rats. Neurochemical Research, 38(6) pp. 1208–1218.



The neural cell adhesion molecule, NCAM, is ubiquitously expressed within the CNS and has roles in development, cognition, neural plasticity and regulation of the immune system. NCAM is thus potentially an important pharmacological target for treatment of brain diseases. A cell adhesion mimetic FGL, a 15 amino-acid peptide derived from the second fibronectin type-III module of NCAM, has been shown to act as a neuroprotective agent in experimental disease and ageing models, restoring hippocampal/cognitive function and markedly alleviating deleterious changes in the CNS. However, the effects of FGL on the hippocampus of young healthy rats are unknown. The present study has examined the cellular neurobiological consequences of subcutaneous injections of FGL, on hippocampal cell morphometry in young (4 month-old) rats. We determined the effects of FGL on hippocampal volume, pyramidal neuron number/density (using unbiased quantitative stereology), and examined aspects of neurogenesis (using 2D morphometric analyses). FGL treatment reduced total volume of the dorsal hippocampus (associated with a decrease in total pyramidal neuron numbers in CA1 and CA3), and elevated the number of doublecortin immunolabeled neurons in the dentate gyrus, indicating a likely influence on neurogenesis in young healthy rats. These data indicate that FGL has a specific age dependent effect on the hippocampus, differing according to the development and maturity of the CNS.

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