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

Prenatal acoustic stimulation influences neuronal size and the expression of calcium-binding proteins (calbindin D-28K and parvalbumin) in chick hippocampus.

Prenatal auditory enrichment by species-specific sounds and sitar music enhances the expression of immediate early genes, synaptic proteins and calcium binding proteins (CaBPs) as well as modifies the structural components of the brainstem auditory nuclei and auditory imprinting area in chicks. There is also facilitation of postnatal auditory preference of the chicks to maternal calls following both types of sound stimulation indicating prenatal perceptual learning. To examine whether the sound enrichment protocol also affects the areas related to learning and memory, we assessed morphological changes in the hippocampus at post-hatch day 1 of control and prenatally sound-stimulated chicks. Additionally, the proportions of neurons containing calbindin D-28K and parvalbumin immunoreactivity as well as their protein levels were determined. Fertilized eggs of domestic chick were incubated under normal conditions of temperature, humidity, forced draft of air as well as light and dark (12:12h) photoperiods. They were exposed to patterned sounds of species-specific and sitar music at 65dB for 15min per hour over a day/night cycle from day 10 of incubation till hatching. The hippocampal volume, neuronal nuclear size and total number of neurons showed a significant increase in the music-stimulated group as compared to the species-specific sound-stimulated and control groups. However, in both the auditory-stimulated groups the protein levels of calbindin and parvalbumin as well as the percentage of the immunopositive neurons were increased. The enhanced proportion of CaBPs in the sound-enriched groups suggests greater Ca(2+) influx, which may influence long-term potentiation and short-term memory.[1]


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