Effects of adult dysthyroidism on the morphology of hippocampal granular cells in rats

Maria Assumpció Martí-Carbonell, Adriana Garau, Josefina Sala-Roca, Ferran Balada

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Thyroid hormones are essential for normal brain development and very important in the normal functioning of the brain. Thyroid hormones action in the adult brain has not been widely studied. The effects of adult hyperthyroidism are not as well understood as adult hypothyroidism, mainly in hippocampal granular cells. The purpose of the present study is to assess the consequences of adult hormone dysthyroidism (excess/deficiency of TH) on the morphology of dentate granule cells in the hippocampus by performing a quantitative study of dendritic arborizations and dendritic spines using Golgi impregnated material. Hypo-and hyperthyroidism were induced in rats by adding 0.02% methimazole and 1% L-thyroxine, respectively, to drinking water from 40 days of age. At 89 days, the animals' brains were removed and stained by a modified Golgi method and blood samples were collected in order to measure T4 serum levels. Neurons were selected and drawn using a camera lucida. Our results show that both methimazole and thyroxine treatment affect granule cell morphology. Treatments provoke alterations in the same direction, namely, reduction of certain dendritic-branching parameters that are more evident in the methimazole than in the thyroxine group. We also observe a decrease in spine density in both the methimazole and thyroxine groups. © 2012 by Polish Neuroscience Society - PTBUN, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-239
JournalActa Neurobiologiae Experimentalis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2012


  • Adult dysthyroidism
  • Hippocampal granular cells


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