Neurotoxicity Research

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 193–199 | Cite as

Early Post-Natal Iron Administration Induces Astroglial Response in the Brain of Adult and Aged Rats

  • Liana Lisboa Fernandez
  • Maria Noêmia Martins de Lima
  • Felipe Scalco
  • Gustavo Vedana
  • Clívia Miwa
  • Arlete Hilbig
  • Mônica Vianna
  • Nadja Schröder


This study was aimed to investigate neuropathological changes in adult and aged rats subjected to supplementary iron administration in a critical postnatal period to study the contribution of environmental risk factors to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Ten rats received a single daily oral administration of iron (10 mg/kg) between 12th and 14th post-natal days; nine rats received vehicle (sorbitol 5% in water) in the same period. Five iron-treated and three sorbitol-treated rats were killed at the age of 3 months while five iron-treated and six sorbitol-treated rats were killed at age of 24 months and their brains processed for immunohistochemistry. Increased astrocytosis, revealed by densitometry of GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes, was found in aged (24 months) iron-treated rats in the substantia nigra and striatum and in the hippocampus of adult (3 months) iron-treated rats when compared to age-matching controls. Decreased densitometry of neurons, revealed by neuronal nucleus immunohistochemistry, was found in aged (24 months) iron-treated rats in substantia nigra and striatum when compared to age-matching controls. These findings suggest that transient dietary iron supplementation during the neonatal period is associated to cellular imprinting in the brain later in life.


Astrocytosis GFAP Iron Neuronal nucleus (NeuN) Neurodegeneration Neuron 



Liana Lisboa Fernandez was a recipient of a CAPES/MEC PDEE fellowship. Monica Vianna is supported by CNPq 312137/2006-0 fellowship, Nadja Schröder is supported by 305905/2009-0 fellowship, and Clivia Miwa is supported by CAPES-MEC fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liana Lisboa Fernandez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria Noêmia Martins de Lima
    • 1
  • Felipe Scalco
    • 1
  • Gustavo Vedana
    • 1
  • Clívia Miwa
    • 1
  • Arlete Hilbig
    • 2
  • Mônica Vianna
    • 1
  • Nadja Schröder
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurobiology and Developmental Biology Laboratory, Faculty of BiosciencesPontifical Catholic UniversityPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Health Basic Science DepartmentFederal University of Health SciencePorto AlegreBrazil

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