Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 129–138 | Cite as

Effect ofd, l-α-aminoadipate on the mediobasal hypothalamus and endocrine function in the rat

  • J. E. Bruni
  • J. Vriend
Original Works


Using the glutamate analog,d,l-α-aminoadipic acid (d,l-αAA), experiments were conducted to examine the nature, extent, and specificity of its toxicity in the mediobasal hypothalamus and to determine its effect on endocrine homeostasis. Neonatal rats received daily injections ofd,l-αAA (4 g/kg BW) on postnatal days 5–10 and were killed at various post-treatment intervals. Sex-matched littermates were given equimolar amounts of NaCl and served as controls. Treated rats killed 18 days post injection weighed slightly less than controls and had reduced testicular, ovarian, and uterine weights, but the differences were not statistically significant. Ind,l-αAA treated rats serum and pituitary levels of TSH and PRL were comparable to control values. Pituitary content of LH (♂'s and ♀'s) and FSH (♀'s), however, was lower (P<0.05) ind,l-αAA treated rats than in controls, but serum levels were not significantly different. Distinct cytopathologic changes were evident in the arcuate nucleus and median eminence ofd,l-αAA-treated rats killed at 2 and 6 h post injection only. By 12 h evidence of acute damage had largely disappeared. Both glial and ependymal cells underwent edematous swelling and necrosis, but neurons were largely unaffected. Evidence of reactive changes, such as gliosis, infiltration of microglia, and removal of debris, however, were not very conspicious. A random sample of mediobasal hypothalami of rats killed 18 days post injection failed to show any detectable lesion or residual effects of earlier pathology. Age at the time of exposure to the gliotoxin was found to be an important variable affecting both extent and duration of injury. The most deleterious effects were observed when the gliotoxin was administered in the form of a single injection on postnatal day 5 only. The results suggest that normal neuronal activity and endocrine homeostasis, specifically gonadotropin, may be irreversibly altered as a consequence of transient disruption of the glial compartment.

Key words

d,l-α-Aminoadipic acid Gliotoxicity Immature rat Mediobasal hypothalamus Serum and pituitary hormones 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. E. Bruni
    • 1
  • J. Vriend
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of AnatomyThe University of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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