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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) |Volume IX, Issue X, October 2022|ISSN 2321-2705

Neurodegeneration of Pyramidal Cells and Memory Impairment in the Hippocampus of the Brain of Wistar Rats Exposed to X-Ray.

 Barilugbene Boobari Akiene*1, Nunyor Akiene2 and Lekpa Kingdom David3
1Department of Medical Imaging, School of Allied Clinical Science, POGIL College of Health Technology, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria.
2Department of Medical Imaging, School of Medical Imaging Technology, Rivers State College of Health Science and Management Technology, Port Harcourt, River State, Nigeria.
3Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

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Abstract: This study investigated the histological changes in the hippocampus of the brain in rats exposed to radiation using a plain x-ray. A total of 20 rats were used for the experiment. The rats were divided into four (4) groups (n=5). Group A is the control group while groups B – D were exposed to radiation (255kv) for a specific duration. Water Morris maze was used to assess the neurobehavioral changes in memory and learning. Histological procedures were carried out to see the changes in the histology of the hippocampus. Results show that there was a significant difference in the time taken for the rats to reach the cemented block between the four groups (F (3, 8) = 6.926, p<0.013). Post-hoc analysis using the Bonferroni methods further revealed that the time taken to reach the cemented block for rats in Group D (42.67±10.50 secs) was significantly different from rats in Group A (7.67±2.52 secs). This is also an indication of loss of memory. Histologically it was observed that there was degeneration of pyramidal cells in the hippocampus of the brain. Degenerating neurons were also observed. X-radiation has been shown to affect memory n this experiment.

Keywords: Hippocampus, pyramidal cells, exposed adult rats, brain, water Morris maze, radiation, degenerative neurons, cornu Ammonis, Neural progenitor cells, Dentate gyrus.


The hippocampus is a part of the brain which belongs to the limbic system. It lies under the medial temporal lobe, one on each side of the brain. The hippocampus is very important for the formation of new autobiographical and fact memory traces. It can be said to function as a memory gateway through which new memories must pass before being stored permanently in the brain. Bilateral hippocampal damage can result in anterograde amnesia i.e. loss of ability to form new memories, although older memories may be safe. Hippocampus proper is also known as Cornu Ammonis (CA), which consists of CA1, CA2, CA3, and CA4 sub-regions (Afeefy et al., 2013).
The health benefits of the use of radiation in the medical field are currently applauded but as the saying goes that everything that has an advantage has a disadvantage. The use or exposure of an individual to ionizing radiation (X-ray) also has adverse effect which ranges from instant cell death, reproductive death, mitotic or genetic death, chromosome breakage, interference of function, etc. a good example of the adverse effect of ionizing