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The effect of spatial learning on the number of astrocytes in rat dentate gyrus

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Author(s): Jahanshahi M | Sadeghi Y | Hosseini A | Naghdi N

Journal: Neuroanatomy
ISSN 1303-1783

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 51;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: neuroanatomy | anatomy | dentate gyrus | astrocyte | spatial learning | PTAH staining

ABSTRACT
In this study, we evaluated the effect of spatial learning on the number of astrocytes in the rat dentate gyruswith Morris water maze. Fifteen male albino Wistar rats were divided into three groups as control, referencememory and working memory groups. Each group was consisted of 5 rats. After spatial learning, the brainswere histologically examined; the slides were stained with phosphotungstic acid hematoxylin (PTAH) stainingto show the astrocytes. We found significant difference in the number of astrocytes in dentate gyrus between control and referencememory groups, and between control and working memory groups as well. When compared two learninggroups there was a significant difference in the number of astrocytes between them, being higher in the workingmemory group. We concluded that the number of astrocytes increased due to spatial learning and this increase can be affectedto the period of learning. Our studies of spatial learning and effect of learning techniques (reference and working memory) showed thatthe technique that has longer period of learning has more effect on the number of astrocytes.

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