Influence of Folic Acid on Neural Connectivity during Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurogenesis

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


The vitamin folic acid (FA) is essential for DNA synthesis, repair and methylation, and for methionine synthesis. Although it is necessary for neural development, recent studies suggest a possible link between excess maternal supplemental FA intake and adverse interferences with single-carbon metabolism and neural development. Insufficient FA early in brain development can lead to failure of the neural tube closure, but the consequences of too much intake have not been fully investigated. Plasma FA concentrations can increase greatly with dietary supplementation. To model the development of neural connectivity, we cultured dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) taken from 8-day-old chick embryos in a range of pteroylmonoglutamate (PteGlu, synthetic supplemental FA) concentrations. DRGs were cultured for 36 h, fixed and immunostained to reveal the locations of neural networks with synaptic vesicles. We found a concentration-dependent relationship with significant reduction in neurite length in PteGlu concentrations from 0.25 to 20 μM. The average total of stained synaptic areas surrounding each cultured DRG was significantly reduced as well. To further characterize the effects, we carried out time-lapse imaging of growth cones at terminals of extending neurites. We found that PteGlu reduced the area-changing activity of the growth cone, hindering its exploratory capabilities, along with a tendency to inhibit overall advancement, thus altering the ability to extend and form synapses. Our results show that PteGlu at 250 nM and higher reduces neurite extension and synapse formation in a dose-dependent manner during neurogenesis, and that its effect is mediated through inhibition of growth cone motility.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles