JBBS  Vol.3 No.2 , May 2013
Effects of Perinatal Undernutrition and Massage Stimulation upon the Ambiguus Nucleus in the Rat Prior to Weaning

Undernutrition produces morphological brain alterations and cognitive deficiencies in children of underdeveloped countries. The central nervous system (CNS) alterations mainly interfere with the anatomical organization of areas undergoing a phase of intense postnatal cell proliferation, disrupting plastic processes like learning, memory, and phonation. In the rat pup, prenatal malnutrition interferes with the elaboration of ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) by poorly understood mechanisms. The neuronal caudal portion of the nucleus ambiguus (Ambc) innervates the laryngeal intrinsic muscles to produce phonation, a basic USV communication system. During postnatal development, enhanced plasticity phenomena play a fundamental role in improving brain function. Thus, the massage stimulation (MS) may accelerate growth and induce neurogenesis in different areas of the brain. The current study analyzed the effects of a daily 10-min MS on the dendritic tree and perikarya measurements of Ambc multipolar motoneurons (Golgi-Cox) of perinatally underfed (U), control (C), control massage-stimulated (CMS), and underfed massage-stimulated (UMS) groups at postnatal days (PDs) 8, 12, and 15. The data indicated that the dendritic scores were reduced (p < 0.05) in both number and density at PD8 and PD15 in the U subjects and that MS increased the values of these parameters (p < 0.05). In addition, MS induced body weight gain in both U and CMS groups, and it enhanced the dendritic density in CMS subjects. These results show that MS during the pre-weaning period restores the plastic properties of the Ambc over the hypoplastic multipolar motoneuron after the alterations caused by perinatal undernutrition.

Cite this paper
D. Lopez-Jimenez, C. Torrero, M. Regalado and M. Salas, "Effects of Perinatal Undernutrition and Massage Stimulation upon the Ambiguus Nucleus in the Rat Prior to Weaning," Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 200-209. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2013.32021.
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