The neuroanatomical effect of brain injury during early development in a rat model
Hartle, Kelly D.
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The brain responds to injury during early development with alterations in behaviour and dendritic morphology of motor cortex neurons. Rats were exposed to damage either prenatally or after the first postnatal week, using different models of damage and motor cortex was examined. Prenatal injury resulted in a decrease in length, complexity and volume in layer II neurons, but no differences in layer V neurons or behavioural tasks. Postnatal damage produced increases in length of basilar dendrites, but no differences in spine density at 2 months of age, whereas at 6 months of age, an overall decrease in apical and basilar spine density was observed. Findings demonstrate the maturational status of the brain at the time of injury play a crucial role in response to injury.