Neuron density in the hippocampus in rat strains with contrasting nervous system excitability after prolonged emotional-pain stress
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A model system consisting of two rat strains bred for nervous system excitability in response to electric shocks was used to study changes in the number density of neurons in hippocampal field CA3 at 24 h, two weeks, and two and six months after prolonged emotional-pain stress (PEPS). Neuron density in hippocampal field CA3 decreased after completion of PEPS. These changes arose at different time points in the different rat strains (one day for low-excitability rats, two months for high-excitability rats) and persisted to six months. Thus, this is the first demonstration that persistent differential effects of stress on the number density of neurons in hippocampal field CA3, which plays an important role in learning and memory processes, depend on genetically determined constitutive characteristics of the nervous system.
Key wordsexcitability hippocampus neuron emotional-pain stress rats
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