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Dev Neurosci. 2002;24(6):512-21.

Differential influence of rearing conditions and methamphetamine on serotonin fibre maturation in the dentate gyrus of gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus).

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Department of Neuroanatomy, Faculty of Biology, University of Bielefeld, Germany.


Environmental experience and drugs are two parameters that affect the maturation of neurotransmitter systems. The influence of impoverished rearing (IR) versus enriched rearing (ER) was compared in conjunction with postnatal methamphetamine (MA) treatment. The densities of immunostained 5-HT fibres were quantified in septal and temporal regions of the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) in young adult gerbils. In the IR group, 5-HT fibre densities were significantly increased in the molecular, granular and polymorphic layers of the DG in the temporal plane. After postnatal MA treatment, the 5-HT fibre density in the ER group reached a level equivalent to that of the IR group in nearly all respects. Under IR conditions, the pharmacological intervention significantly increased the maturation of fibre densities in septal layers only in the right hemisphere with no significant alterations in the left hemisphere and in temporal regions of either hemisphere. According to our previous studies on hippocampal neurogenesis, adaptations of 5-HT fibre densities partly proved to be positively correlated to cell proliferation rates for each of the specific conditions. Thus, the induced MA sensitivity, caused by pharmacological intervention at day 14, was manifested as direct interaction of 5-HT fibre maturation and cell proliferation in dependence of environmental factors. Both IR and MA together give us a better understanding of raphe-hippocampal plasticity and offer new perspectives for pharmacological studies on the 5-HT participation in mental disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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