Dendritic spine density of adult hippocampal pyramidal cells is sensitive to thyroid hormone

Elizabeth Gould, Mark D. Allan, Bruce S. McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


In order to determine whether pyramidal cells of the adult hippocampus are morphologically sensitive to thyroid hormone, we performed single-section Golgi impregnation analyses on brains from hyperthyroid and control rats. Quantitative analyses of Golgi-impregnated pyramidal cells from the CA1 region showed a significant decrease in the density of apical dendritic spines with hyperthyroidism. In contrast, no changes were observed in spine density of basal dendrites or in cross-sectional cell body area of CA1 pyramidal cells. No changes in any of these morphological variables were detected in pyramidal cells of the CA3 region with hyperthyroidism. These results suggest that spine density of the apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal cells is specifically affected by thyroid hormone in adulthood. Since dendritic spines are thought to represent postsynaptic sites it is likely that this morphological change results in altered hippocampal function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-329
Number of pages3
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 20 1990
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


  • CA1 region
  • Dendritic spine
  • Golgi impregnation
  • Hippocampus
  • Pyramidal cell
  • Thyroid hormone


Dive into the research topics of 'Dendritic spine density of adult hippocampal pyramidal cells is sensitive to thyroid hormone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this