Adult treatment with haloperidol increases dentate granule cell proliferation in the gerbil hippocampus
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Male gerbils were bred and reared grouped under enriched semi-natural environmental conditions. The objective of the present study was to examine the influence of an acute treatment with the neuroleptic haloperidol on adult granule cell neurogenesis in the hippocampus. For that purpose, at the age of postnatal day 90 adult animals received 4 challenges of either haloperidol (5 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline. Proliferation of granule cells was identified by in-vivo labeling with 5-bromo-2′-desoxyuridine (BrdU) which was applied 1 hour after the final dose of haloperidol. BrdU-labeled granule cell nuclei were identified in consecutive horizontal slices along the mid-septotemporal axis of the hippocampus and light-microscopically quantified 7 days after the BrdU-labeling. It was found that in both saline- and haloperidol-treated animals there was a highly significant spatial septotemporal gradient in granular cell proliferation with numbers of BrdU-labeled cells gradually declining from the septal towards the temporal pole. The acute treatment with haloperidol stimulated granule cell proliferation by about 75% and the septotemporal gradient of mitotic activity became significantly enhanced. The present results are discussed with regard to known factors regulating cell proliferation in the hippocampus and other cell systems.
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