Histophotometric Evaluation of Glutamate Dehydrogenase Activity of the Rat Hippocampal Formation During Postnatal Development, with Special Reference to the Glutamate Transmitter Metabolism
Transmitter glutamate/aspartate synthesis is known to proceed along different metabolic pathways. In this light, the functional relevance of glutamate dehydrogenase in postnatally maturing glutamatergic/aspartatergic structures was studied by means of quantitative enzyme histochemistry.
The basic requirements concerning the kinetics and calibration of the histochemical glutamate dehydrogenase reaction used were proved to be met in order to obtain valid quantitative data.
The histochemically demonstrable activity of glutamate dehydrogenase (EC 188.8.131.52) in the hippocampal formation of the rat increased markedly during postnatal development. On day 30, the distribution pattern observed was similar to that in adult animals.
While the enzyme activity rose within cell body layers from day 0 to day 30 by 240–285%, the increase in neuropil layers was found to be up to 830%. Maximum values were seen in the stratum lacunosum-moleculare of CA1 and CA3 and the stratum moleculare of the dentate fascia on day 30.
Since the hippocampal neuropil is supposed to be copiously provided with glutamatergic (and aspartatergic?) structures which become functional in rats during the first weeks of postnatal life, the increase in enzyme activity is discussed to be primarily a consequence of maturing synaptic systems using glutamate and/or aspartate as transmitters.
Key wordsglutamate dehydrogenase hippocampal formation glutamatergic transmission postnatal development histophotometric evaluation
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