• cerebrolysin;
  • neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion;
  • schizophrenia;
  • basolateral amygdale;
  • Golgi-Cox stain;
  • stereology


The neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (nVHL) has emerged as a model of schizophrenia-related behavior in the rat. Our previous report demonstrated that cerebrolysin (Cbl), a neuropeptide preparation which mimics the action of endogenous neurotrophic factors on brain protection and repair, promoted recovery of dendritic and neuronal damage of the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens and behavioral improvements in postpubertal nVHL rats. We recently demonstrated that nVHL animals exhibit dendritic atrophy and spine loss in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). This study aimed to determine whether Cbl treatment was capable of reducing BLA neuronal alterations observed in nVHL rats. The morphological evaluation included examination of dendrites using the Golgi-Cox procedure and stereology to quantify the total cell number in BLA. Golgi-Cox staining revealed that nVHL induced dendritic retraction and spine loss in BLA pyramidal neurons. Stereological analysis demonstrated nVHL also produced a reduction in cells in BLA. Interestingly, repeated Cbl treatment ameliorated dendritic pathology and neuronal loss in the BLA of the nVHL rats. Our data show that Cbl may foster recovery of BLA damage in postpubertal nVHL rats and suggests that the use of neurotrophic agents for the management of some schizophrenia-related symptoms may present an alternative therapeutic pathway in these disorders. Synapse, 68:31–38, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.