Neonatal cryoanesthesia affects the morphology of the visual cortex in the adult rat

Joseph L. Nuñez, Bennet Y. Kim, Janice M. Juraska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hypothermia is often employed as an anesthetic for manipulations of neonatal animals. We previously reported [J. Nunez, J.M. Juraska, The effect of neonatal cryoanesthesia on the gross size of the splenium of the corpus callosum, Dev. Psychobiol. 30 (1997) 259; J. Nunez, J.M. Juraska, The size of the splenium of the rat corpus callosum: influence of hormones, sex ratio and neonatal cryoanesthesia, Dev. Psychobiol., in press.] that the area of the splenium of the adult rat corpus callosum negatively correlated with the time neonatal pups spent in the cold. In the present study, we examined the effect of exposure to neonatal hypothermia (0, 15, 30 and 60 min at 4°C, within 2 h of birth) on the thickness and volume of the binocular (Oc1B)and monocular (Oc1M) fields of the adult rat visual cortex. The number of neurons and glia in layer 2/3 in these areas was also assessed in the 0 and 60 min cold- exposed groups. Cryoanesthesia significantly decreased the length, thickness, volume and number of neurons and glia in both Oc1M and Oc1B. We also observed significant effects of cold exposure on the thickness of individual cortical layers, with some layers affected more than others after differential exposure times. Sex differences (males greater than females) were observed in a number of measures after varying amounts of time in cold and in the absence of cold exposure, in confirmation of previous work from our lab [S.N.M. Reid, J.M. Juraska, Sex differences in the gross size of the rat neocortex, J. Comp. Neurol. 321 (1992) 442-447; S.N.M. Reid, J.M. Juraska, Sex differences in neuron number in the binocular area of the rat visual cortex, J. Comp. Neurol. 321 (1992) 448-455.]. The present study points to the potential confound of using cryoanesthesia on neonatal animals to study cortical structure or function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Volume111
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 1998

Keywords

  • Anesthesia
  • Cortical development
  • Hypothermia
  • Neuron number
  • Sex differences
  • Stereology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology

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