Newly generated granule cells show rapid neuroplastic changes in the adult rat dentate gyrus during the first five days following pilocarpine-induced seizures.
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Long-term neuroplastic changes to dentate granule cells have been reported after seizures and were shown to contribute to recurrent excitatory circuitry. These changes include increased numbers of newborn granule cells, sprouted mossy fibers, granule cell layer dispersion, increased hilar ectopic granule cells and formation of hilar basal dendrites on granule cells. The goal of the current study was to determine the acute progression of neuroplastic changes involving newly generated granule cells after pilocarpine-induced seizures. Doublecortin (DCX) immunocytochemical preparations were used to examine the newly generated granule cells 1-5 days after seizures were induced. The results showed that there are rapid neuroplastic changes to the DCX-labeled cells. At 1 day after seizures were induced, there were significant increases in the percentage of DCX-labeled cells with hilar basal dendrites and in the progenitor cell population. At 2 days after seizures were induced, an increase in the thickness of the layer of DCX-labeled cells occurred. At 3 days after seizures were induced, the number of DCX-labeled cells was significantly increased. At 4 days after seizures were induced, developing synapses were observed on DCX-labeled hilar basal dendrites. Thus, newly generated granule cells in the adult dentate gyrus display neuroplastic changes by 1 day after pilocarpine-induced seizures and further changes occur to this population of cells in the subsequent 4 days. The presence of synapses, albeit developing ones, on hilar basal dendrites during this period indicates that newly generated granule cells become rapidly incorporated into dentate gyrus circuitry following seizures.