Natalie L.M. Cappaert is an Assistant Professor in the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her thesis work was carried out in the Hearing Research Laboratories of the University of Utrecht. During her postdoctoral training her interest shifted toward the Central Nervous System. In her recent research on the network properties of the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex, she has applied a combination of in vitro voltage sensitive dye imaging and extracellular recordings. She currently studies theta oscillations, functional connectivity, and interneuron activity in small neuronal networks.
Natalie L.M. Cappaert, PhD
University of Amsterdam
Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences
1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Email: n.cappaert at(@) uva.nl
Delay and Impairment in Brain Development and Function in Rat Offspring after Maternal Exposure to Methylmercury.
Delay and Impairment in Brain Development and Function in Rat Offspring after Maternal Exposure to Methylmercury. Toxicol Sci. 2013 Mar 1; Authors: Radonjic M, Cappaert NL, De Vries EF, De Esch CE, Kuper FC, Van Waarde A, Dierckx RA, Wadman WJ, Wolterbeek A, Stierum R, De Groot DM Abstract Maternal exposure to the neurotoxin methylmercury (MeHg) has been shown to have adverse effects on neural development of the offspring in man. Little is known about the underlying mechanisms by which MeHg affects the developing brain.To explore the neurodevelopmental defects and the underlying mechanism associated with MeHg exposure, the cerebellum and cerebrum of Wistar rat pups were analysed by [18F]FDG PET functional imaging, field potential analysis and microarray gene expression profiling. Female rat pups were exposed to MeHg via maternal diet during intrauterinal and lactational period (from gestational day 6 to postnatal day (PND) 10) and their brain tissues were sampled for the analysis at weaning (PND 18-21) and adulthood (PND 61-70). The [18F]FDG PET imaging and field potential analysis suggested a delay in brain activity and impaired neural function by MeHg. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis substantiated these findings by showing (1) a delay in the onset of gene expression related to neural development and (2) alterations in pathways related to both structural and functional aspects of nervous system development. The latter included changes in gene expression of developmental regulators, developmental-phase associated genes, small GTPase signaling molecules and representatives of all processes required for synaptic transmission.These findings were observed at dose levels at which only marginal changes in conventional developmental toxicity endpoints were detected. Therefore the approaches applied in this study are promising in terms of yielding increased sensitivity compared to classical developmental toxicity tests. PMID: 23457123 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]