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Sanchez-Huerta, Karla; Debbie Saldana-Salinas, Rosaura; Edson Bustamante-Nieves, Pablo; Jimenez, Adriana; Corzo-Cruz, Alejandro; Martinez-Vargas, Marina; Guevara-Guzman, Rosalinda; Velasco, Ivan; Estudillo, Enrique (2022)

SUCROSE CONSUMPTION DURING LATE ADOLESCENCE IMPAIRS ADULT NEUROGENESIS OF THE VENTRAL DENTATE GYRUS WITHOUT INDUCING AN ANXIETY-LIKE BEHAVIOR

Int J Mol Sci 23(22):
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Sucrose consumption impairs behavioral and cognitive functions that correlate with decreased neurogenesis in animal models. When consumed during early adolescence, this disaccharide promotes anxious and depressive behaviors, along with a reduction in the generation of new neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Data concerning sucrose consumption during late adolescence are lacking, and the effect of sucrose intake on the ventral dentate gyrus of the hippocampus (which modulates anxiety and depression) remains elusive. Here, we tested whether sucrose intake during late adolescence causes anxiety or impaired neurogenesis in the ventral dentate gyrus. Rats did not display anxiety-like behaviors neither at the light-dark box test nor at the open field exploration. However, there was a significant increase in proliferative cells in the subgranular zone of the ventral dentate gyrus in rats exposed to sucrose ( < 0.05). This increased proliferation corresponded to neural stem cells (Radial Type 1 cells) in the group exposed to sucrose until adulthood but was not present in rats exposed to sucrose only during late adolescence. Remarkably, the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 kinases was increased in the hippocampi of rats exposed to sucrose only during late adolescence, suggesting that the increased proliferation in this group could be mediated by the MAPK pathway. On the other hand, although no differences were found in the number of immature granular neurons, we observed more immature granular neurons with impaired dendritic orientation in both groups exposed to sucrose. Finally, GAD65/67 and BCL2 levels did not change between groups, suggesting an unaltered hippocampal GABAergic system and similar apoptosis, respectively. This information provides the first piece of evidence of how sucrose intake, starting in late adolescence, impacts ventral dentate gyrus neurogenesis and contributes to a better understanding of the effects of this carbohydrate on the brain at postnatal stages.