Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 192, Issue 1, pp 89–99

Influence of maternal adrenalectomy and glucocorticoid administration on the development of rat cerebral cortex

  • J. L. Trejo
  • C. Machín
  • R. M. Arahuetes
  • C. Rúa
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00186994

Cite this article as:
Trejo, J.L., Machín, C., Arahuetes, R.M. et al. Anat Embryol (1995) 192: 89. doi:10.1007/BF00186994

Abstract

In order to determine the incidence of maternal glucocorticoids on morphological parameters in fetal development, we performed optic and electron microscopic analysis of the cerebral cortex of fetuses of 16 and 20 days of gestation, from control (C) and pregnant rats bilaterally adrenalectomized on day 1 of gestation (ADX). We also studied fetuses 20 days old from pregnant rats betamethasone-injected on days 15, 16 and 17 (BET), and adrenalectomized on day 1 and betamethasone-injected on days 15, 16 and 17 (ADX+BET). Absence of maternal glucocorticoids during gestation caused, in fetuses 16 and 20 days old, a marked increase of cellular density, laxity of tissue and lower cellular maturation in comparison with the control group. Beta-methasone injected into sham-operated animals (BET) caused a slight advance in relation to controls in developmental parameters such as cellular density, maturation and synapse formation. Betamethasone injection into adrenalectomized animals prevented the lower degree of maturation characteristic of the adrenalectomized group, although an increase of cellular density could be detected. The cerebral cortex from fetuses of 16 days of gestation from adrenalectomized mothers also showed an increase of cellular density as compared with the control group. These results show that glucocorticoids participate in prenatal rat brain in control mechanisms of cellular division and maturation.

Key words

Prenatal development Cerebral cortex Adrenalectomy Glucocorticoid Rat 

Abbreviations

ADX

adrenalectomized animals

ADX+BET

adrenalectomized, betamethasone-injected animals

BET

betamethasone-injected animals

C

control animals

CORT

corticosterone

CP

cortical plate

GC

glucocorticoids

GR

glucocorticoid receptor

I

cortical layer I

IZ

intermediate zone

LV

lateral ventricle

NE

neuroepithelium

Sp

subplate

SV

subventricular layer

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Trejo
    • 1
  • C. Machín
    • 1
  • R. M. Arahuetes
    • 2
  • C. Rúa
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento Biología Celular, Facultad CC BiológicasUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento Biología Animal II, Facultad CC BiológicasUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain

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