Invited Symposium: Behaviour-Induced Neural Events after Brain Injury



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Rehabilitative Intervention In A Rat Model Of Alcohol-Related Brain Dysfunction

Klintsova, AY (Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, USA)
Briones, TL (Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, USA)
Goodlett, CR (Department of Psychology, Indiana University-Purdue University of Indiana, USA)
Greenough, WT (Depts. of Psychology, Psychiatry and Cell&Struct. Biol., Beckman Inst., Univ. of Illinois, USA)

Contact Person: Anna Y. Klintsova (aklintso@s.psych.uiuc.edu)


Recent work has suggested that motor learning, but not mere motor activity, is associated with significant morphological changes (addition of synapses, dendrite outgrowth) in the brain areas known to participate in the control of movement: cerebellar and motor cortex. Early postnatal exposure to alcohol during the 'brain growth spurt' (first 10 postnatal days in rats) results in deficits in motor performance and in permanent loss of cerebellar neurons. Previously we demonstrated that complex motor skill learning significantly improves ('rehabilitates') motor performance in animals exposed to ethanol postnatally and that it causes synaptogenesis in cerebellar cortex damaged by exposure to neonatal binge-like ethanol. The present study investigated how neonatal alcohol exposure affects the neurons in motor cortex and if motor skill learning has similar rehabilitative effects on this brain area. Analysis of Golgi-impregnated neurons in layer II/III demonstrated that neonatal exposure to alcohol results in decreased size of apical dendrites and that complex motor training ameliorates that effect. Unbiased stereological estimation of neuronal density (Nv) in these layers detected significantly lower Nv in all alcohol-exposed animals. Complex motor learning resulted in an increased synapse/neuron ratio in both control and alcohol-exposed animals, demonstrating rehabilitative effect on motor cortex. Supported by PHS AA09838.

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Presentation Number SAklintsova0847
Keywords: alcohol, plasticity, motor learning, motor cortex, rehabilitation

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Klintsova, AY; Briones, TL; Goodlett, CR; Greenough, WT; (1998). Rehabilitative Intervention In A Rat Model Of Alcohol-Related Brain Dysfunction. Presented at INABIS '98 - 5th Internet World Congress on Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada, Dec 7-16th. Invited Symposium. Available at URL http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/schallert/klintsova0847/index.html
© 1998 Author(s) Hold Copyright