Document Detail

Dendritic spine pathology in infants with severe protein-calorie malnutrition.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10429139     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Experimental undernutrition in animals, during the critical brain development period, produces retardation of brain growth as well as a number of different morphologic and functional abnormalities in neurons, mainly in the dendritic synaptic apparatus. These alterations are the cause of the poor neurointegrative development that occurs in experimental malnutrition. Severe malnutrition during early postnatal life in humans is known to produce similar neurointegrative disorders as well as mental retardation, but there are very few studies describing the morphology of the dendritic apparatus in infants suffering from this condition. OBJECTIVE: To study the dendritic spine density and morphology in dendrites from cortical neurons in infants dying from severe malnutrition. METHODOLOGY: Brain sections from the somestesic, motor, and occipital cortical areas of 13 infants who died of severe malnutrition and 7 eutrophic infants who died of other causes were studied by means of the rapid Golgi method. Apical dendritic spines from neurons of the fifth cortical layer were studied and counted in all sections. RESULTS: Apical dendrites were significantly shorter in malnourished infants than in the control group (581.54 +/- 54.32 microm in severe malnutrition vs 846.3 microm in normal infants). The number of dendritic spines per dendrite was also significantly diminished (185.3 +/- 36.1 in malnourished vs 374.3 +/- 41.6 in eutrophic infants). There were marked morphologic abnormalities in the dendritic spines of infants dying of severe malnutrition that were classified as dysplastic. CONCLUSIONS: Short apical dendrites, fewer spines, and dendritic spine abnormalities occur in severe infant malnutrition. These anatomic anomalies might be related to the neuropsychological deficits that occur in these children.
L Benítez-Bribiesca; I De la Rosa-Alvarez; A Mansilla-Olivares
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatrics     Volume:  104     ISSN:  1098-4275     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatrics     Publication Date:  1999 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-08-13     Completed Date:  1999-08-13     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376422     Medline TA:  Pediatrics     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e21     Citation Subset:  IM    
Unidad de Investigación Médica en Enfermedades Oncológicas, Hospital de Oncología, Centro Médico Nacional S-XXI, IMSS, México, Distrito Federal, M|xico.
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MeSH Terms
Case-Control Studies
Cerebral Cortex / cytology,  pathology*
Child, Preschool
Dendrites / pathology*
Protein-Energy Malnutrition / pathology*

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