The Effects of De-Whiskering and Congenital Hypothyroidism on The Development of Nitrergic Neurons in Rat Primary Somatosensory and Motor Cortices

Document Type : Original Article


1 Sensory Processing Laboratory, Kerman Neuroscience and Cognitive Research Centers, Institute of Neuropharmachology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Functional Neuroanatomy Labaratory, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti Medicine Science University, Tehran, Iran


The aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of chronic whisker deprivation on possible alterations to the development of nitrergic neurons in the whisker part of the somatosensory (wS1) and motor (wM1) cortices in offspring with congenital hypothyroidism (CH).
Materials and Methods
In the experimental study, CH was induced by adding propylthiouracil to the rats drinking water from embryonic day 16 to postnatal day (PND) 60. In whisker-deprived (WD) pups, all the whiskers were trimmed from PND 1 to 60. Nitrergic interneurons in the wS1/M1 cortices were detected by NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry staining technique in the control (Ctl), Ctl+WD, Hypo and Hypo+WD groups.
In both wS1 and wM1 cortices the number of nitrergic neurons was significantly reduced in the Hypo and Hypo+WD groups compared to Ctl and Ctl+WD groups, respectively (P < 0.05) while bilateral whisker deprivation had no remarkable effect. The mean soma diameter size of NADPH-d labeled neurons in the Ctl+WD and Hypo+WD groups was decreased compared to the Ctl and Hypo groups, respectively. A similar patterns of decreased NADPH-d labeled neurons in the wS1/M1 cortices occur in the processes of nitrergic neurons in both congenital hypothyroidism and whisker deprivation.
Our results suggest that both congenital hypothyroidism and whisker deprivation may disturb normal development of the wS1 and wM1 cortical circuits in which nitrergic neurons are involved.