A Morphometeric Study on CA3 Hippocampal Field in Young Rats Following Maternal Administration of Boswellia Serrata Resin During Gestation

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Anatomy, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

2 Depatment of Anatomical Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


It has previously been shown that prenatal maternal administration of Boswellia serrata gum resin (Frankincense) improved learning and memory performance associated with an increase in the size of neuronal bodies in CA3 (Cornu Ammonis) of hippocampus. Continuing the previous work, a morphometric study was designed on CA3 field to examine precisely the effect of prenatal administration of frankincense on the structure of this region.
Materials and Methods
2 months-old male Wistar rats whose mothers were given orally the aqueous extract of the Boswellia serrata (0.1 g/kg/day) during gestation (3 weeks) were anesthetized and transcardially perfused with phosphate-buffered solution of 4% formaldehyde and 1% glutaraldehyde (n=8). Each brain was removed and divided into two hemispheres. One hemisphere selected at random for estimating the volumes of CA3 layers, and the other for morphometeric analysis of CA3 neuronal dendrites. The Cavalieri principle employed to estimate the volumes and a quantitative Golgi study used to analyse the dendritic arborizations.
Comparisons revealed that the control rats had lower volumes than the experimental animals in all layers of CA3 (p<0.05). It was also indicated that the neurons of CA3 in experimental rats had more dendritic segments (31.25±3.33) than the controls (27.5±2.67), p<0.05. The dendritic branching density was higher in experimental rats relative to that found in the control rats.
Results of this study provide a neuroanatomical basis that may be relevant to the early reported enhancement of learning and memory abilities in offspring.


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