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Brain Res. 1995 Jun 5;682(1-2):227-30.

Hippocampal dentate granule cell degeneration after adrenalectomy in the rat is not reversed by dexamethasone.

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  • 1Neurology Research Center, Helen Hayes Hospital, New York State Department of Health, West Haverstraw 10993, USA.


Although adrenalectomy has been reported to induce a selective and sometimes nearly complete degeneration of hippocampal dentate granule cells, Azmitia and colleagues recently reported (Mol. Brain Res., 19 (1993) 328-332) that normal hippocampal structure can nonetheless be restored within a matter of days by dexamethasone in the drinking water. We have attempted to confirm this remarkable finding. Four months after adrenalectomy, rats were given vehicle or dexamethasone for 5 days and then sacrificed. Histological analysis revealed that vehicle-treated adrenalectomized rats exhibited a full spectrum of granule cell loss, which spanned mild to nearly complete cell loss. Dexamethasone-treated adrenalectomized rats did not differ from vehicle-treated adrenalectomized rats and, in fact, exhibited a virtually identical spectrum of granule cell loss. These results confirm that adrenalectomy reliably induces hippocampal granule cell degeneration in a majority of animals and indicate that dexamethasone does not restore normal hippocampal structure once granule cell loss has occurred.

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