Doublecortin-positive newly born granule cells of hippocampus have abnormal apical dendritic morphology in the pilocarpine model of temporal lobe epilepsy

Brain Res. 2007 Aug 24:1165:126-34. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.06.037. Epub 2007 Jul 5.


Here, we describe dentate gyrus newly born granule cells morphology in rats' temporal lobe epilepsy pilocarpine model. Digital reconstruction of doublecortin-positive neurons revealed that apical dendrites had the same total length and number of nodes in epileptic and control animals. Nonetheless, concentric spheres analyses revealed that apical dendrites spatial distribution was radically altered in epileptic animals. The apical dendrites had more bifurcations inside the granular cell layer and more terminations in the inner molecular layer of epileptic dentate gyrus. Branch order analyses showed that second- and third-order dendrites were shorter in epileptic animals. Apical dendrites were concentrated in regions like the inner molecular layer where granular neuron axons, named mossy fibers, sprout in epileptic animals. The combination of altered dendritic morphology and number enhancement of the new granular neurons suggests a deleterious role of hippocampal neurogenesis in epileptogenesis. Being more numerous and with dendrites concentrated in regions where aberrant axon terminals sprout, the new granular neurons could contribute to the slow epileptogenesis at hippocampal circuits commonly observed in temporal lobe epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendrites / pathology*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Doublecortin Domain Proteins
  • Doublecortin Protein
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / chemically induced
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / pathology*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Pilocarpine
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Silver Staining


  • Dcx protein, rat
  • Doublecortin Domain Proteins
  • Doublecortin Protein
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Pilocarpine