The effect of experimental epilepsy induced by penicillin administration during pregnancy on nestin expression in the immature rat cerebellum - A light, electron microscopic, and immunohistochemical study

Uyanikgil Y. , Baka M. , Yurtseven M., TURGUT M.

CHILDS NERVOUS SYSTEM, vol.20, no.3, pp.176-182, 2004 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00381-003-0901-3
  • Title of Journal : CHILDS NERVOUS SYSTEM
  • Page Numbers: pp.176-182


Introduction. Recent knowledge regarding the effect of epileptic seizures in pregnant women on newborns was limited and, therefore, it was difficult to suggest the proper clinical guidelines and to take precautions against it. Studies evaluating the morphological effects of epileptic seizure during pregnancy on newborns in various experimental models are valuable. Therefore, the current study was designed to investigate the morphological changes in the cerebellum of newborn pups of rats subjected to experimental epilepsy during pregnancy. Materials and methods. Swiss Albino rats were divided into three groups (six animals in each). In the first group (experimental group) an acute grand mal epileptic seizure was induced by 400 IU penicillin-G administration into their intrahippocampal CA3 region with a stereotaxic device during the 13th day of their pregnancy. The second group (intrahippocampal saline-injected sham group) and the third group (untreated animals) were the control groups. On the 1st neonatal day, pups were perfused with intracardiac fixative solution under anesthesia, and newborn cerebellums were dissected surgically for light and electron microscopic studies. Results. In an immunohistochemical study using Rat-401 monoclonal antibody and peroxidase, the intermediate filament nestin was detected in the developing cerebellar tissue. Histologically, normal migration and cerebellar maturation were determined in the newborn rat cerebellum in the control and sham-operated groups. It was observed that the morphological structure of the cerebellar cortex in the experimental group was compromised in the early embryonal period. In contrast to the control and sham groups, it was found that nestin (+) cell density was increased in the experimental epilepsy group. Conclusions. It has been concluded that epileptic convulsions during embryonic life may cause early neurogenesis and delayed maturation, which explains the harmful effects of epileptic grand mal seizures, hypoxia, and obstetric trauma to the embryo at the early stage of neuronal differentiation. However, further studies are necessary to investigate epileptic pregnant phenomena and to characterize the possible relationship between epilepsy and congenital malformations as well as mental retardation.