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Long-term effects of postnatal undernutrition and maternal malnutrition on mouse cerebral cortex

II. Evolution of dendritic branchings and spines in the visual region


Quantitative analysis of the dendritic branchings of pyramidal cells from layers V and III, as well as of the number of spines on their apical dendrites, were performed on the visual cortex of postnatally undernourished mice (2nd–21st day) and on that of pups from malnourished mothers (gestation and lactation). Animals were followed till 180 days of age after more than 5 months of nutritional rehabilitation, and data were obtained at 10, 15, 21, 30, 60, and 180 days of age. The increase and maturation of dendritic branchings and spines were much more reduced in postnatal undernutrition than in maternal malnutrition. Furthermore, permanent damage still remained at 180 days in postnatal undernutrition while almost no damage was statistically detectable after maternal malnutrition.

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Leuba, G., Rabinowicz, T. Long-term effects of postnatal undernutrition and maternal malnutrition on mouse cerebral cortex. Exp Brain Res 37, 299–308 (1979).

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Key words

  • Cerebral cortex
  • Dendritic branchings and spines
  • Postnatal undernutrition
  • Protein maternal malnutrition
  • Mouse