Effects of Neonatal Undernutrition on Development of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Pyramidal Cells in the Rat


The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) of the rat plays a role in the encoding of neuronal signals involved in conflict-induced behavioral adjustment, working memory, planning and executive abilities, attentional control and other cognitive responses. In altricial species, early perinatal undernutrition interferes with the morphofunctional organization of a number of central nervous system (CNS) structures including the prefrontal cortex. The effects of neonatal undernutrition on dendritic arbor density, perikaryon measurements, and the number of spines (detected by rapid-Golgi) of basilar dendritic segments in layer III pyramidal neurons of the dlPFC were examined in male Wistar rats on postnatal (PDs) 12, 20, and 30. In the underfed (U) subjects the distal portions of the dendritic arbors had a consistent hipoplasia, mainly on PD 30, with reduced cross sectional area, perimeter, and spine densities on the basilar dendrites on all days studied. Thus, the alterations of the dlPFC pyramidal neurons may interfere with the plastic synaptic activity and cognitive performance of rats subjected to the stress of early underfeeding. Characterizing these anatomical alterations may help to understand the disrupted cognitive processes associated with neonatal undernutrition.

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C. Torrero, M. Regalado, L. Rubio and M. Salas, "Effects of Neonatal Undernutrition on Development of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Pyramidal Cells in the Rat," Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2014, pp. 49-57. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2014.41007.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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