We have found, based on the electrophysiological properties, two subtypes of CA1 pyramidal neurons in the CA1 region of the normal hippocampus, late postsynaptic potential (L-PSP) neurons and non-L-PSP neurons. In addition, our previous study has shown that the electrophysiological properties of these two subtypes of pyramidal neurons were differentially modified after ischemia. In the present study, we hypothesized that ischemia might also induce different morphological alterations in these two subtypes of neuron. To test the hypothesis, we compared the changes in the dendritic arborization and soma volume of these two subtypes of neurons in rats subjected to transient global ischemia. We found a significant decrease in the basal dendritic length of L-PSP neurons at 12 hr after reperfusion, resulting mainly from a significant decrease in the dendrite terminal length. The apical dendritic length of L-PSP neurons markedly increased at 24 hr after ischemia, resulting mainly from an increase in the number of branching arbors in the middle part of the apical dendritic trees. The soma size of L-PSP neurons was significantly reduced at 12 hr, but they became slightly larger at 24 hr and 48 hr after reperfusion. In contrast to L-PSP neurons, non-L-PSP neurons showed slight modifications in the dendritic arborization but had persistent swelling of their soma after ischemia. These results indicate that pathological changes in these two subtypes of neurons are different after ischemia.
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