BrdU is commonly used to quantify neurogenesis but also causes mutation and has mitogenic, transcriptional, and translational effects. In mammalian studies, attention had been given to its dosage, but in birds such examination was not conducted. Our previous study suggested that BrdU might affect subsequent cell divisions and neuronal recruitment in the brain. Furthermore, this effect seemed to increase with time from treatment. Accordingly, we examined whether BrdU might alter neurogenesis in the adult avian brain. We compared recruitment of [3H]-thymidine+ neurons in brains of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) when no BrdU was involved and when BrdU was given 1 or 3 months prior to [3H]-thymidine. In nidopallium caudale, HVC, and hippocampus, no differences were found between groups in densities and percentages of [3H]-thymidine+ neurons. The number of silver grains per [3H]-thymidine+ neuronal nucleus and their distribution were similar across groups. Additionally, time did not affect the results. The results indicate that the commonly used dosage of BrdU in birds has no long-term effects on subsequent cell divisions and neuronal recruitment. This conclusion is also important in neuronal replacement experiments, where BrdU and another cell birth marker are given, with relatively long intervals between them.
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© 2015 Anat Cattan et al.