The hippocampus in spontaneously hypertensive rats: a quantitative microanatomical study

Neuroscience. 2000;100(2):251-8. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4522(00)00297-9.

Abstract

The influence of hypertension on the morphology of hippocampus was assessed in spontaneously hypertensive rats of two, four and six months and in age-matched normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats. Values of systolic pressure were slightly increased in two-month-old spontaneously hypertensive rats in comparison with age-matched Wistar-Kyoto rats and augmented progressively with age in spontaneously hypertensive rats. No microanatomical changes were observed in the hippocampus of spontaneously hypertensive rats of two months in comparison with age-matched Wistar-Kyoto rats, whereas a decrease of white matter volume was observed in the CA(1) subfield and in the dentate gyrus of four-month-old spontaneously hypertensive rats. In the hippocampus of six-month-old spontaneously hypertensive rats a reduction of grey matter volume both in the CA(1) subfield and in the dentate gyrus, a loss of neurons affecting to a greater extent the CA(1) subfield and an increase of glial fibrillary acid protein-immunoreactive astrocytes was found. The occurrence of apoptosis and/or necrosis identified using the terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase-mediated biotin-16-dUTP nick end labelling technique was also observed in the CA(1) subfield and to a lesser extent in the dentate gyrus. The only change noticeable in the CA(3) subfield of six-month-old spontaneously hypertensive rats was a slight increase in the number of glial fibrillary acid protein-immunoreactive astrocytes. These findings indicate the occurrence of neuronal loss and of astrocyte changes in the hippocampus of spontaneously hypertensive rats of six months, being the CA(1) subfield the area most affected. The relevance of these neurodegenerative changes in hypertension and the possible occurrence of apoptosis and/or necrosis as expression of hypertensive brain damage is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Hypertension / pathology*
  • Male
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR*
  • Rats, Inbred WKY

Substances

  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein