Activity-dependent changes in synaptophysin immunoreactivity in hippocampus, piriform cortex, and entorhinal cortex of the rat
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Synaptophysin, an integral membrane glycoprotein of synaptic vesicles, has been widely used to investigate synaptogenesis in both animal models and human patients. Kindling is an experimental model of complex partial seizures with secondary generalization, and a useful model for studying activation-induced neural growth in adult systems. Many studies using Timm staining have shown that kindling promotes sprouting in the mossy fiber pathway of the dentate gyrus. In the present study, we used synaptophysin immunohistochemistry to demonstrate activation-induced neural sprouting in non-mossy fiber cortical pathways in the adult rat. We found a significant kindling-induced increase in synaptophysin immunoreactivity in the stratum radiatum of CA1 and stratum lucidum/radiatum of CA3, the hilus, the inner molecular layer of the dentate gyrus, and layer II/III of the piriform cortex, but no significant change in layer II/III of the entorhinal cortex, 4 weeks after the last kindling stimulation. We also found that synaptophysin immunoreactivity was lowest in CA3 near the hilus and increased with increasing distance from the hilus, a reverse pattern to that seen with Timm stains in stratum oriens following kindling. Furthermore, synaptophysin immunoreactivity was lowest in dorsal and greatest in ventral sections of both CA3 and dentate gyrus in both kindled and non-kindled animals. This demonstrates that different populations of sprouting axons are labeled by these two techniques, and suggests that activation-induced sprouting extends well beyond the hippocampal mossy fiber system.
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