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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 20;8(12):e83561. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083561. eCollection 2013.

Changes of dendritic spine density and morphology in the superficial layers of the medial entorhinal cortex induced by extremely low-frequency magnetic field exposure.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, PR China.
2
Department of Occupational Health, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, PR China.

Abstract

In the present study, we investigated the effects of chronic exposure (14 and 28 days) to a 0.5 mT 50 Hz extremely low-frequency magnetic field (ELM) on the dendritic spine density and shape in the superficial layers of the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC). We performed Golgi staining to reveal the dendritic spines of the principal neurons in rats. The results showed that ELM exposure induced a decrease in the spine density in the dendrites of stellate neurons and the basal dendrites of pyramidal neurons at both 14 days and 28 days, which was largely due to the loss of the thin and branched spines. The alteration in the density of mushroom and stubby spines post ELM exposure was cell-type specific. For the stellate neurons, ELM exposure slightly increased the density of stubby spines at 28 days, while it did not affect the density of mushroom spines at the same time. In the basal dendrites of pyramidal neurons, we observed a significant decrease in the mushroom spine density only at the later time point post ELM exposure, while the stubby spine density was reduced at 14 days and partially restored at 28 days post ELM exposure. ELM exposure-induced reduction in the spine density in the apical dendrites of pyramidal neurons was only observed at 28 days, reflecting the distinct vulnerability of spines in the apical and basal dendrites. Considering the changes in spine number and shape are involved in synaptic plasticity and the MEC is a part of neural network that is closely related to learning and memory, these findings may be helpful for explaining the ELM exposure-induced impairment in cognitive functions.

PMID:
24376717
PMCID:
PMC3869808
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0083561
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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