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Novel environment exposure promotes changes in activity of the metabolic marker glycogen phosphorylase in rat medial entorhinal cortex


, : Novel environment exposure promotes changes in activity of the metabolic marker glycogen phosphorylase in rat medial entorhinal cortex. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 26(1-2): Abstract No -647 10

There is evidence that neurons share metabolic substrates with glial cells. The proximity of glia to neurons and nutritive rich capillaries makes them excellent candidates for this purpose. Glial cells also store glycogen, a reserve form of glucose, which can be mobilized to fuel the needs of both glia and neurons during increases in neural activity. Mobilization of glycogen is determined by the catalytic enzyme glycogen phosphorylase (GP), which occurs in two forms, active (aGP) or inactive (bGP). Both of these forms can be visualized histochemically and can demonstrate differences in levels of glycogenolysis. In this study we assess the effect of novel environment exposure on GP activity in the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) where neural activity is modified by the environment. Novel (NOV) animals were exposed to a previously unexplored environment for 5 minutes then anesthetized with chloral hydrate while control rats (CON) were anesthetized from their home cage. Six minutes after anesthetic the animals were decapitated and the brains were fresh frozen for histochemical determination of aGP and total phosphorylase (tGP, aGP + bGP) activity. Differences in levels of aGP were evident in the superficial MEC layers. Using target density analysis aGP activity was increased in Layer III of CON animals when compared to NOV levels. These differences were more prominent at dorsal levels of MEC. In Layer I, NOV rats showed a patchy distribution of aGP while distribution in CON rats was more uniform. There were no significant differences in the levels of activity of tGP.

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