Early dendritic changes in hippocampal pyramidal neurones (field CA1) of rats subjected to acute soman intoxication: a light microscopic study

Brain Res. 1991 Feb 15;541(2):293-9. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(91)91030-5.


In rats poisoned with soman (s.c. 100 micrograms/kg), a potent inhibitor of cholinesterase (ChE), the numbers of dendritic spines of Golgi impregnated hippocampal pyramidal cells (CA1 sector) were evaluated within the first hour of the intoxication. Animals that experienced convulsions showed a rapid and striking decrease in the density of dendritic spines which could be reduced by nearly 80% of the controls in the basal dendrites 60 min post-soman exposure. Although the exact mechanisms cannot be determined from the present study, it is suggested that the spine loss may represent: (1) the first sign of the seizure-related neuronal changes which are known to occur later during soman intoxication; and (2) the expression of the 'dendrotoxic' effects produced by certain non-cholinergic excitatory transmitters such as glutamate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendrites / drug effects*
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Hippocampus / cytology*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Male
  • Microscopy
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Tracts / cytology*
  • Pyramidal Tracts / drug effects
  • Pyramidal Tracts / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Seizures / pathology
  • Seizures / physiopathology
  • Soman / toxicity*


  • Soman