The rat posterodorsal medial amygdala (MePD) is a brain area in which gonadal hormones induce notable plastic effects in the density of dendritic spines. Dendritic spines are post-synaptic specializations whose shape and spacing change neuronal excitability. Our aim was to obtain new data on the dendritic spines morphology and density from MePD neurons using the carbocyanine dye DiI under confocal microscopy. In adult male rats, the dendritic spine density of the medial branches of the left MePD (mean+/-SD) was 1.15+/-0.67spines/dendritic microm. From the total sampled, approximately 53% of the spines were classified as thin, 22.5% as "mushroom-like", and 21.5% as stubby/wide. Other spine shapes (3%) included those ramified, with a filopodium-like or a gemule appearance, and others with a protruding spinule. Additional experiment joining DiI and synaptophysin (a pre-synaptic protein) labeling suggested synaptic sites on dendritic shafts and spines. Dendritic spines showed synaptophysin puncta close to their head and neck, although some spines had no evident labeled puncta on them or, conversely, multiple puncta appeared upon one spine. These results advance previous light microscopy results by revealing features and complexities of the dendritic spines at the same time that give new insight on the possible synaptic organization of the adult rat MePD.
Scorpion envenomation is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among accidents caused by venomous animals. Major clinical manifestations that precede death after scorpion envenomation include heart failure and pulmonary edema. Here, we demonstrate that cardiac dysfunction and fatal outcomes caused by lethal scorpion envenomation in mice are mediated by a neuro-immune interaction linking IL-1 receptor signaling, prostaglandin E2, and acetylcholine release. IL-1R deficiency, the treatment with a high dose of dexamethasone or blockage of parasympathetic signaling using atropine or vagotomy, abolished heart failure and mortality of envenomed mice. Therefore, we propose the use of dexamethasone administration very early after envenomation, even before antiserum, to inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators and acetylcholine release, and to reduce the risk of death.
Destruction of dental tissue and supporting structures is usually microscopically assessed by routine hematoxylin and eosin (HE)-stained sections. This short communication is concerned with the potential role of fluorescence microscopy of HE-stained sections to study morphological aspects of intact and pathological teeth in dental research. This methodology improves the visualization of the anatomical structures of the intact teeth, especially anatomical features and periodontal ligament spatial distribution. This technique also improves the visualization of the root and bone resorption and the delineation of the periapical lesion extension. The fluorescence microscopy technique of HE-stained sections is an easy, reliable and inexpensive method that seems to be a useful tool for evaluating morphological aspects of intact and pathological teeth in dental research.
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