Alterations of the Giant Pyramidal Neurons (Betz Cells) in Brain Cortex of Rat Offspring Born from Gestational Diabetic Dams: A Morphometric Study

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Soraya Ghafari; Elnaz Golalipour & Mohammad Jafar Golalipour


A few studies reported the adverse effects of gestational diabetes on hippocampus and spinal cord of rat offspring. Giant pyramidal neurons are giant pyramidal neurons located in fifth layers of the gray matter in the primary motor cortex. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the effect of gestational diabetes on the giant pyramidal neurons and the thickness of internal pyramidal layer in the brain cortex of rat offspring. On day 1 of gestation, 10 Wistar rat dams were randomly allocated into two control and diabetic groups. Five animals in diabetic group received 40 mg/kg/BW of Streptozotocin (intraperitoneally) and control animals received normal saline. We randomly selected six offspring of every subject in both groups at day 28, 56 and 84. Rat offspring were scarified and then coronal sections were taken from the right brain cortex and sections were stained with Cresyl violet. The density of giant pyramidal neurons in brain cortex and thickness of internal pyramidal layer of brain cortex were evaluated. In P28, P56, P84 the Betz cells density of brain cortex were significantly reduced from 107.6±6.2, 131.6±4.6 and 143.5±4.0 in controls to 84.96±2.1, 109.8±7.3 and 121.05±5.6 in cases (p<0.05), respectively. The thickness of the internal pyramidal layer of brain cortex in P28, 56 and P84 was significantly higher in gestational diabetic group in comparison with the control group (p<0.05). This study showed that uncontrolled gestational diabetes reduces the giant pyramidal neurons density and internal pyramidal layer thickness in brain cortex of rat offspring.

KEY WORDS: Gestational diabetes; Neuron; Giant pyramidal neurons; Cerebral cortex; Rat offspring.

How to cite this article

GHAFARI, S.; GOLALIPOUR, E. & GOLALIPOUR, M. J. Alterations of the giant pyramidal neurons (Betz cells) in brain cortex of rat offspring born from gestational diabetics dams: a morphometric study. Int. J. Morphol., 33(3):1120-1125, 2015.