Experimental hypothyroidism delays fEPSPs and disrupts hippocampal long-term potentiation in the dentate gyrus of hippocampal formation and Y-maze performance in adult rats.

ARTIŞ A. S. , Bitiktas S., Taskin E., Dolu N., Liman N., Suer C.

J Neuroendocrinol, vol.24, no.3, pp.422-433, 2012 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Journal Name: J Neuroendocrinol
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.422-433


Manipulations of thyroid hormones have been shown to influence learning and memory. Although a large body of literature is available on the effect of thyroid hormone deficiency on learning and memory functions during the developmental stage, electrophysiological and behavioural findings, particularly on propylthiouracil administration to adult normothyroid animals, are not satisfactory. The experiments in the present study were carried out on 12 adult male Wistar rats aged 6-7 months. Hypothyroidism was induced by administering 6-n-propyl-2-thiouracil in their drinking water for 21 days at a concentration of 0.05%. The spatial learning performance of hypothyroid and control rats was studied on a Y-maze. The rats were then placed in a stereotaxic frame under urethane anaesthesia. A bipolar tungsten electrode was used to stimulate the medial perforant path. A glass micropipette was inserted into the granule cell layer of the ipsilateral dentate gyrus to record field excitatory post-synaptic potentials. After a 15-min baseline recording of field potentials, long-term potentiation was induced by four sets of tetanic trains. The propylthiouracil-treated rats showed a significantly attenuated input-output (I/O) relationship when population spike (PS) amplitudes and field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSP) were compared. fEPSP and PS latencies were found to be longer in the hypothyroid group than in the control group. The PS amplitude and fEPSP slope potentiations in the hypothyroid rats were not statistically different from those in the control rats, except for the field EPSP slope measured in the post-tetanic and maintenance phases. The hypothyroid rats also showed lower thyroxine levels and poor performance in the spatial memory task. The present study provides in vivo evidence for the action of propylthiouracil leading to impaired synaptic plasticity, which might explain deficit in spatial memory tasks in adult hypothyroid rats.