Neuroprotective effect of ACTH (4-9) in degeneration of hippocampal nerve cells caused by dexamethasone: morphological, immunocytochemical and ultrastructural studies
Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis
Sustained exposure to glucocorticosteroids (GCs), adrenal hormones secreted during stress, can cause neural degeneration. This is particularly so in the hippocampus, a principal neural target site for GCs. The purpose of this research was an assessment of the neuroprotective effect of ACTH (4-9) in degenerative changes of hippocampal neurons induced by synthetic GC-dexamethasone. Experiments were conducted on male Albino-Swiss mice. We studied the morphology of neurons in the dorsal hippocampus
... dorsal hippocampus in slides stained with cresyl violet. Immunocytochemical analysis was carried out with the use of monoclonal antibody anti-MAP2 in order to detect alterations in the neuronal cytoskeleton. We also performed ultrastructural examinations of hippocampal neurons. Quantitative analysis of morphological changes was completed using a computer analyser of histological pictures. It was shown that dexamethasone administered in toxic doses evokes neuronal death in layer CA3 of the hippocampus. Results indicate that ACTH (4-9) shows protective effects in that model. Dexamethasone-induced damage to hippocampal pyramidal neurons (assessed by cell counts, immunocytochemical analysis of cytoskeletal alterations and ultrastructural studies) was significantly reduced in animals administered ACTH (4-9).