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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Postnatal effect of embryonic neurogenesis disturbance on reelin level in organotypic cultures of rat hippocampus.

Despite a delayed emergence of the symptoms, schizophrenia is thought to be a late consequence of early disturbances during development. Several reports have found decreased levels of reelin in the cortex and the hippocampus of postmortem brains of schizophrenic patients. In the rat, intraperitoneal injection of the anti-mitotic agent methylazoxymethanol (MAM) during intra-uterine development (embryonic day 17) induces cytoarchitectural abnormalities in the hippocampus and the cortex and behavioural changes reminiscent of positive, negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. We aimed to examine whether a transient prenatal disturbance of neurogenesis induces postnatal changes in the expression of reelin in the hippocampus. Cellular modifications were explored using hippocampal organotypic slice cultures, which allow for conservation of the in vivo cytoarchitecture. MAM effect on hippocampal neurogenesis was confirmed by birthdating experiments. After 3 weeks in vitro, reelin was expressed by calretinin-negative cells. The number of reelin-positive neurons was increased whereas the total neuron number was decreased in the stratum oriens in the E17 MAM-exposed animals as compared to the control group. Not only an increase in the number of cells expressing reelin was observed, but there was also a slight increase in reelin mRNA levels in hippocampal pyramidal cells of MAM-exposed animals. In contrast, there was no significant change in the dentate gyrus. These results show that transient prenatal disturbance of neurogenesis induces long-term modifications in specific areas of the hippocampus and in particular in the number of neurons expressing reelin. They also confirm the value of organotypic slices to study postnatal maturation in the hippocampus.[1]


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