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This study investigated the influence of ageing – in particular the decrease of gonadal hormone levels during the ageing process – on the memory and the levels of DNA damage in the hippocampus of female rats.
Three groups of female Wistar rats were investigated: Group I consisted of non-ovariectomised, adult animals (6 months old); Group II consisted of non-ovariectomised, aged animals (18 months old); and Group III consisted of ovariectomised, aged animals (18 months old). The memory of the animals in these groups was examined via novel object recognition and inhibitory avoidance tests. The hippocampus tissue samples of all animals were obtained via biopsy and used to quantify the DNA damage using a Comet Assay.
According to our findings, the process of ageing results in a change during the behavioural tests. To prevent genotoxic damage to the hippocampus caused by the ageing process, lowered hormone levels seem to be part of a protective biochemical mechanism in the body of rats. Animals that were previously submitted to an ovariectomy adapted better to these lower levels of hormones.
Our results indicate that ovariectomy can provide beneficial long-term effects on the memory. However, this could be specific to the kind of memory examined, as the aversive memory deficits caused by ageing were not affected by ovariectomy.
Objectives: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a mental illness associated with higher rates of suicide. The present study aims to investigate the brain mitochondrial respiratory chain activity in an animal model of mania induced by ouabain.
Methods: Adult male Wistar rats received a single intracerebroventricular administration of ouabain (10−3 and 10−2 M) or vehicle. Locomotor activity was measured using the open field test. Mitochondrial respiratory chain activity was measured in the brain of rats 1 h and 7 days after ouabain administration.
Results: Our results showed that spontaneous locomotion was increased 1 h and 7 days after ouabain administration. Complexes I, III and IV activities were increased in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum immediately after the administration of ouabain, at the concentration of 10−3 and 10−2 M. Moreover, complex II activity was increased only in the prefrontal cortex at the concentration of 10−2 M. On the other hand, no significant alterations were observed in complex I activity 7 days after ouabain administration. However, an increase in complexes II, III and IV activities was observed only in the prefrontal cortex at the concentration of 10−2 M.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest an increase in the activities of mitochondrial respiratory chain in this model of mania. A possible explanation is that these findings occur as a rebound effect trying to compensate for a decrease of ATP deprivation in BD. The present findings suggest that this model may present good face validity and a limitation in construct validity.
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