Enriched Environment Minimizes Anxiety/Depressive-Like Behavior in Rats Exposed to Immobilization Stress and Augments Hippocampal Neurogenesis (In Vitro).
Vanisree Arambakkam Janardhanam,Thamizhoviya Gangadharan
Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN
Chronic exposure to stress disturbs the homeostasis of the brain, thus, deleteriously affecting the neurological circuits. In literature, there are investigations about the stress-related alterations in behavioral response and adult neurogenesis; however, an effective combating strategy to evade stress is still at stake. Hence, the present study is designed to investigate the effect of an enriched environment in alleviating the anxiety/depressive-like behavioral response and enhancing the adult neurogenesis in the hippocampal region of rats exposed to chronic immobilization stress. The rats were exposed to chronic immobilization stress (IS) for 4 h/day followed by the enriched environment (EE) for 2 h/day for 28 days, and finally, the hippocampal region was dissected out after the behavioral analyses. IS group showed increased behavioral despair to tail suspension test, decrement in the activity for light/dark box test, and less grooming activity towards splash test. In contrast, IS + EE rats exhibited a decrease in the activity of tail suspension test and an increase in the behavioral response to light/dark box test and splash test. The in vitro assessment of primary cultures of neurospheres from the IS group resulted in decreased levels of proliferation in the cell number and metabolic activity of both MTT assay and lactate levels. IS + EE group revealed an increase in the growth curve of neurospheres and higher metabolic activities of MTT and lactate. The IS cultures had reduced neurite length, while the neurite outgrowths were increased in IS + EE group. The IS group showed significant reduction in the protein and mRNA levels of nestin, GFAP, CD11b, MOG, and synaptophysin, whereas the IS + EE cultures exhibited significant increase in the levels of these stem cell markers. Our data highlight the positive impact of EE against stress-related behavioral changes in rats exposed to chronic immobilization stress perhaps by interfering with the differentiation of neurospheres and neurogenesis.
Enriched Environment and Social Isolation Affect Cognition Ability via Altering Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Density in Mice Hippocampus.
Wang Hui,Xu Xiaxia,Xu Xinxin,Gao Jing,Zhang Tao
The purpose of the study was to examine whether the underlying mechanism of the alteration of cognitive ability and synaptic plasticity induced by the housing environment is associated with the balance of excitatory/inhibitory synaptic density. Enriched environment (EE) and social isolation (SI) are two different housing environment, and one is to give multiple sensory environments, the other is to give monotonous and lonely environment. Male 4-week-old C57 mice were divided into three groups: CON, EE and SI. They were housed in the different cage until 3 months of age. Morris water maze and novel object recognition were performed. Long term potentiation (LTP), depotentiation (DEP) and local field potentials were recorded in the hippocampal perforant pathway and dentate gyrus (DG) region. The data showed that EE enhanced the ability of spatial learning, reversal learning and memory as well as LTP/DEP in the hippocampal DG region. Meanwhile, SI reduced those abilities and the level of LTP/DEP. Moreover, there were higher couplings of both phase-amplitude and phase-phase in the EE group, and lower couplings of them in the SI group compared to that in the CON group. Western blot and immunofluorescence analysis showed that EE significantly enhanced the level of PSD-95, NR2B and DCX; however, SI reduced them but increased GABAR and decreased DCX levels. The data suggests that the cognitive functions, synaptic plasticity, neurogenesis and neuronal oscillatory patterns were significantly impacted by housing environment via possibly changing the balance of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic density.
Enriched environment enhances NK cell maturation through hypothalamic BDNF in male mice.
Mansour Anthony G,Xiao Run,Bergin Stephen M,Huang Wei,Chrislip Logan A,Zhang Jianying,Ali Seemaab,Queen Nicholas J,Caligiuri Michael A,Cao Lei
European journal of immunology
Macroenvironmental factors, including a patient's physical and social environment, play a role in cancer risk and progression. Our previous preclinical studies have shown that the enriched environment (EE) confers anti-obesity and anti-cancer phenotypes that are associated with enhanced adaptive immunity and are mediated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Natural killer (NK) cells have anti-cancer and anti-viral properties, and their absence or depletion is associated with inferior clinical outcomes. In this study, we investigated the effects of EE on NK cell maturation following their depletion. Mice living in EE displayed a higher proportion of NK cells in the spleen, bone marrow, and blood, compared to those living in the standard environment (SE). EE enhanced NK cell maturation in the spleen and was associated with upregulation of BDNF expression in the hypothalamus. Hypothalamic BDNF overexpression reproduced the EE effects on NK cell maturation in secondary lymphoid tissues. Conversely, hypothalamic BDNF knockdown blocked the EE modulation on NK cell maturation. Our results demonstrate that a bio-behavior intervention enhanced NK cell maturation and was mediated at least in part by hypothalamic BDNF.
Enriched environment provides neuroprotection against experimental glaucoma.
González Fleitas María F,Devouassoux Julián D,Aranda Marcos L,Calanni Juan S,Chianelli Monica S,Dorfman Damián,Rosenstein Ruth E
Journal of neurochemistry
Glaucoma is one of the most frequent causes of visual impairment worldwide, and involves selective damage to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons. We analyzed the effect of enriched environment (EE) housing on the optic nerve, and retinal alterations in an induced model of ocular hypertension. For this purpose, male Wistar rats were weekly injected with vehicle or chondroitin sulfate (CS) into the eye anterior chamber for 10 weeks and housed in standard environment or EE. EE housing prevented the effect of experimental glaucoma on visual evoked potentials, retinal anterograde transport, phosphorylated neurofilament-immunoreactivity, axon number, microglial/macrophage reactivity (ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1-immunoreactivity), and astrocytosis (glial fibrillary acidic protein-immunostaining), as well as oligodendrocytes alterations (luxol fast blue staining, and myelin basic protein-immunoreactivity) in the proximal portion of the optic nerve. Moreover EE prevented the increase in ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule-1 levels, and RGC loss (Brn3a-immunoreactivity) in the retina from hypertensive eyes. EE increased retinal brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels. When EE housing started after 6 weeks of ocular hypertension, a preservation of visual evoked potentials amplitude, axon, and Brn3a(+) RGC number was observed. Taken together, these results suggest that EE preserved visual functions, reduced optic nerve axoglial alterations, and protected RGCs against glaucomatous damage.
Enriched Environment Promotes Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis through FGFRs.
Grońska-Pęski Marta,Gonçalves J Tiago,Hébert Jean M
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
The addition of new neurons to existing neural circuits in the adult brain remains of great interest to neurobiology because of its therapeutic implications. The premier model for studying this process has been the hippocampal dentate gyrus in mice, where new neurons are added to mature circuits during adulthood. Notably, external factors such as an enriched environment (EE) and exercise markedly increase hippocampal neurogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that EE acts by increasing fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) function autonomously within neurogenic cells to expand their numbers in adult male and female mice. FGFRs activated by EE signal through their mediators, FGFR substrate (FRS), to induce stem cell proliferation, and through FRS and phospholipase Cγ to increase the number of adult-born neurons, providing a mechanism for how EE promotes adult neurogenesis. How the environment we live in affects cognition remains poorly understood. In the current study, we explore the mechanism underlying the effects of an enriched environment on the production of new neurons in the adult hippocampal dentate gyrus, a brain area integral in forming new memories. A mechanism is provided for how neural precursor cells in the adult mammalian dentate gyrus respond to an enriched environment to increase their neurogenic output. Namely, an enriched environment acts on stem and progenitor cells by activating fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling through phospholipase Cγ and FGF receptor substrate proteins to expand the pool of precursor cells.
Enriched environment effect on lipopolysaccharide-induced spatial learning, memory impairment and hippocampal inflammatory cytokine levels in male rats.
Keymoradzadeh Arman,Hedayati Ch Mojtaba,Abedinzade Mahmood,Gazor Rohollah,Rostampour Mohammad,Taleghani Behrooz Khakpour
Behavioural brain research
Neuro-inflammation is responsible for cognitive impairments and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. In this study, we aimed to investigate the enriched environment (EE) effect on learning and memory impairment as well as on pro-inflammatory cytokines changes induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS injection (1 mg/kg/i.p, days 1, 3, 5, and 7) was used to develop the animal model of neuro-inflammation. Twenty-eight male Wistar rats were used in the experiment and randomly divided into 4 groups: 1) sham (S), 2) sham + enriched environment (SE), 3) LPS (L), and 4) LPS + EE (LE). Two different housing conditions, including standard environment (SE) and enriched environment, were used. The Morris Water Maze (MWM) test was used to examine animals learning and memory. IL-1β, IL-10, and TNF-α levels were measured in the brain using ELISA. We found that LPS significantly impaired learning and memory (p < 0.05) in the MWM task, but EE could significantly improve learning and memory impairment (p < 0.05). IL-1 and IL-10 levels dramatically increased in the LPS group (P < 0.05), whereas EE could decrease and increase IL-1β and IL-10 values in the LPS + EE group (P < 0.05), respectively. TNF-α levels were traced but had not detectable values in the hippocampus. Thus, we can conclude that EE has healing effects on LPS induced neuro-inflammation and can improve learning and memory deficit; however, further studies are needed to support the findings of our study.
Changes in Mitochondria-Associated Protein Expression and Mitochondrial Function in Response to 2 Weeks of Enriched Environment Training After Cerebral Ischaemia-Reperfusion Injury.
Yu Kewei,Kuang Shenyi,Wang Chuanjie,Wang Yuyang,Liu Gang,Xie Hongyu,Jiang Congyu,Wu Junfa,Wang Nianhong,Wu Yi
Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN
An enriched environment (EE) can stimulate the recovery of neurological function following a cerebral ischaemia-reperfusion injury; however, the impact of EE's on mitochondrial function has been insufficiently studied. Our research aimed to assess whether EE's therapeutic impact involved the enhancement of mitochondrial dysfunction. Following 2 weeks of EE training, we tested both mitochondrial function and mitochondria-associated protein expression within the cerebral cortex following cerebral ischaemia-reperfusion injury. We subjected Sprague-Dawley rats to transient focal cerebral ischaemia and categorized the rats into three separate groups, i.e. an enriched environment (EE) group, a standard condition (SC) group and a sham control group (no middle cerebral artery embolization). The rats within the EE group were raised in enriched conditions for 2 weeks, while the rats within the SC group, in comparison, were reared in standard conditions for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, the cerebral cortices of the rats were removed. We then measured a series of indices, i.e. the protein expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator (PGC-1α), nuclear respiratory factor-1 (NRF-1), mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) and mitochondrial protein cytochrome C oxidase subunit IV (COX IV). Furthermore, the number of mitochondria was evaluated through electron microscopy.EE upregulated the protein expression of PGC-1α, NRF-1 as well as TFAM, which function as the master regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis, in comparison with the SC group. The EE group's COX IV protein expression also exhibited an increase. Moreover, the amount of mitochondria in the peri-infarct region of the cortex increased as result of EE training. Over 2 weeks, EE training significantly increased mitochondrial biogenesis-associated protein expression and mitochondrial function. A possible mechanism of the EE leading to the improvement of neurological function is that it increases brain mitochondrial biogenesis after the rats' cerebral ischaemia-reperfusion injury. Mitochondrial biogenesis stimulation or enhancement could become an innovative strategy for neuroprotection in future treatment.
The three-phase enriched environment paradigm promotes neurovascular restorative and prevents learning impairment after ischemic stroke in rats.
Zhan Yu,Li Man-Zhong,Yang Le,Feng Xue-Feng,Lei Jian-Feng,Zhang Nan,Zhao Yuan-Yuan,Zhao Hui
Neurobiology of disease
Enriched environment (EE) with a complex combination of sensorimotor, cognitive and social stimulations has been shown to enhance brain plasticity and improve recovery of functions in animal models of stroke. The present study extended these findings by assessing whether the three-phase EE intervention paradigm would improve neurovascular remodeling following ischemic stroke. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). A three-phase EE intervention paradigm was designed in terms of the different periods of cerebral ischemia by periodically rearranging the EE cage. Morris water maze (MWM) tests were performed to evaluate the learning and memory function. Multimodal MRI was applied to examine alterations to brain structures, intracranial vessels, and cerebral perfusion on the 31 day after MCAO. The changes of capillaries ultrastructure were examined by transmission electron microscope. Double-immunofluorescent staining was used to evaluate neurogenesis and angiogenesis. The expression of angiogenesis-related factors and neurovascular remodeling related signaling pathways including Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT)/glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3)/β-catenin and the axon guidance molecules were detected by Western blot analysis. MRI measurements revealed that EE treatment significantly increased survival volume of cortex and striatum, improved cerebral blood flow (CBF), amplified anterior azygos cerebral artery (azACA), ipsilateral internal carotid artery (ICA) and anterior communicating artery (AComA) vessel signal compared with standard housed rats (IS). Consistent with these findings, EE reduced ischemic BBB damage of capillary, enhanced endogenous angiogenesis and modified the expression of VEGF, Ang-1 or Ang-2 in ischemic rats. Additionally, this proangiogenic effect was consistent with the increased progenitor cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation in the peri-infarct cortex and striatum after EE intervention. Specifically, EE intervention paradigm markedly increased expression of phosphorylated PI3K, AKT and GSK-3, but reduced phosphorylated β-catenin. Moreover, the axon guidance proteins expression level was significant higher in EE group. In parallel to these findings, EE significantly enhanced recovery of lost spatial learning memory function in MCAO rats without affecting infarct size. Together, MRI findings along with histological results strongly supported that the three-phase EE paradigm benefited neurovascular reorganization and thereby improved poststroke cognitive function. Moreover, our findings suggest that this type of EE paradigm induced neurogenesis and angiogenesis, at least in part, via regulating PI3K/AKT/GSK-3/β-catenin signaling pathway and activation of the intrinsic axonal guidance molecules in animal models of ischemic stroke.
Postweaning Enriched Environment Enhances Cognitive Function and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Signaling in the Hippocampus in Maternally Separated Rats.
Cordier Javier Maximiliano,Aguggia Julieta Paola,Danelon Víctor,Mir Franco Rafael,Rivarola María Angélica,Mascó Daniel
Adverse environments during early life may lead to different neurophysiological and behavioral consequences, including depression and learning and memory deficits that persist into adulthood. Previously, we demonstrated that exposure to an enriched environment during adolescence mitigates the cognitive impairment observed after maternal separation in a task-specific manner. However, underlying neural mechanisms are still not fully understood. The current study examines the effects of neonatal maternal separation (MS) and postweaning environmental enrichment (EE) on spatial learning and memory performance in a short version of the Barnes Maze, active and passive behaviors in the forced swim test, and on TrkB/BDNF receptor expression in the hippocampus. Our results revealed that MS impaired acquisition learning and that enriched rats performed better than non-enriched rats in acquisition trials, regardless of early conditions. During the probe, enriched-housed rats demonstrated better performance than those reared in standard conditions. No significant differences between groups were found in the forced swim test. Both MS and EE increase full-length TrkB expression, and the combination of MS and EE treatment caused the highest levels of this protein expression. Similarly, truncated TrkB expression was higher in the MS/EE group. Animal facility rearing (AFR) non-enriched groups present the lowest activation of phosphorylated Erk, a canonical downstream kinase of TrkB signaling. Taken together, our results demonstrate the importance of enriched environment as an intervention to ameliorate the effects of maternal separation on spatial learning and memory. TrkB/BDNF signaling could mediate neuroplastic changes related to learning and memory during exposure to enriched environment.
Enhanced white matter reorganization and activated brain glucose metabolism by enriched environment following ischemic stroke: Micro PET/CT and MRI study.
Li Manzhong,Zhao Yuming,Zhan Yu,Yang Le,Feng Xuefeng,Lu Yun,Lei Jianfeng,Zhao Ting,Wang Lei,Zhao Hui
Enriched environment (EE) is an effective rehabilitative protocol designed to enhance sensorimotor, cognitive and social stimulation. Current understanding of neuronal remodeling after EE intervention mainly derived from conventional histological methods. The efficacy of EE treatment on post-stroke brain reorganization still needed to be elucidated in vivo. This study aimed to examine the effects of post-ischemic EE treatment on the brain remodeling using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and F-FDG positron emission tomography (PET). Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and housed in standard environment (SE) or EE for consecutive 30 days. Cognitive testing was performed using the Morris water maze. White matter structural modifications were detected by MRI combined with histological analysis. In addition, PET scanning with F-FDG as a molecular probe was conducted to detect brain energy metabolism. Our results showed that EE significantly mitigated MCAO-induced impairments in spatial learning and memory, attenuated brain atrophy, protected white matter integrity, and enhanced white matter reorganization coupled with promoting oligodendrogenesis. In parallel to these findings, PET-MRI fused images showed that EE remarkably elevated regional cerebral metabolic rates of glucose in the lesioned sensorimotor cortex, striatum and corpus callosum/external capsule. More importantly, a strong correlation was demonstrated between glucose utilization and diffusion tensor imaging indices in the corresponding brain regions. The data herein indicated that improved global metabolism of glucose was a critical step in the reorganization of the white matter following post-stroke EE intervention. Although EE did not produce beneficial effects on restoring brain infarct volume, the broad range of structural and functional benefits observed in the present study raised the interesting possibility that EE might be an effective rehabilitative strategy for ischemic stroke.
Enriched environment ameliorates memory impairments in rats after postsurgery sleep deprivation.
Gao Jie,Yang Chenyi,Li Dedong,Zhao Lina,Wang Haiyun
Journal of chemical neuroanatomy
Postsurgery sleep deprivation is a common complication that severely deteriorates the quality of life of patients. Here we aim to investigate the effects and mechanism of enriched environment in ameliorating sleep deprivation and memory impairments. Hernia repair surgery was performed on rats to induce sleep deprivation. Enriched environment (EE) was used to treat rats with sleep deprivation, and open field and Y-maze tests were performed to compare behavioral parameters of sleep deprivation rats with or without EE treatments to those of normal rats. To understand the mechanism, neurotrophic and growth factors including BDNF, NGF, NT-3 and GDNF were analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). AMPAR subunits, including GluA1-A3, and GABA receptor α1 subunit expression in hippocampus tissues were assessed using western blot. EE restored normal levels of anxiety index and freezing behavior in open field test and level of alternation in Y-maze test, suggesting the reduction of anxiolytic effects and spatial memory impairment induced by sleep deprivation. EE increased BDNF levels and reduced NT-3 levels in sleep deprivation rats. GluA1/GluA2 ratio was increased by EE. GABA receptor α1 subunit expression was decreased by EE. EE is effective in ameliorating the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation in spatial memory impairment, and restoring normal levels of neurotrophic factors, which are potentially mediated by attenuating the changes in AMPAR subunit expression and reducing GABA receptor α1 subunit expression. These data provide supporting evidences for the use of EE to treat adverse outcomes of sleep deprivation induced by surgery.
Enriched environment improves post-stroke cognitive impairment and inhibits neuroinflammation and oxidative stress by activating Nrf2-ARE pathway.
The International journal of neuroscience
INTRODUCTION:Neuroinflammation and oxidative stress are major mechanisms of post-stroke cognitive impairment (PSCI) neural injury and decreased spatial and memory capacity. Enriched environment (EE) is an effective method to improve cognitive dysfunction. However, the regulation by EE of neuroinflammation, oxidative stress and associated mechanisms in animal models remains unclear. MATERIALS AND METHODS:In this study, a rat PSCI model was established by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Rats were randomly divided into the control group, standard environment (SE) group and EE group for 28 days. A Morris water-maze test was used to measure cognitive function at 7, 14 and 28 days after MCAO. Rats were sacrificed on the 28th day. Quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry and ELISA were respectively used to detect mRNA expression of NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and Nrf2 response genes, the expression of IL-1β and levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the hippocampus. RESULTS:EE improved mNSS scores and cognitive ability in PSCI rats. EE increased mRNA expression of the Nrf2 and Nrf2 response genes, including heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1). EE significantly decreased the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and increased the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH), in the hippocampus of PSCI rats. EE reduced the number of IL-1β positive cells in the hippocampus, and IL-1β levels in the hippocampus and serum. EE increased GFAP-positive astrocytes in the hippocampus, and BDNF levels in the hippocampus and serum. CONCLUSIONS:EE can improve cognitive function in PSCI rats by inhibiting neuroinflammation and oxidative stress.
Co-treatment of vitamin D supplementation with enriched environment improves synaptic plasticity and spatial learning and memory in aged rats.
Bayat Mahnaz,Kohlmeier Kristi A,Haghani Masoud,Haghighi Afshin Borhani,Khalili Azadeh,Bayat Gholamreza,Hooshmandi Etrat,Shabani Mohammad
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVE:Environmental enrichment (EE) has been shown in old rats to improve learning and memory. Vitamin D (VitD) has also been shown to modulate age-related, cognitive dysfunction. As both EE and VitD could work to improve cognition via enhancement of neurotrophic factors, their effects might occlude one another. Therefore, a clinically relevant question is whether noted cognition-promoting effects of EE and VitD can co-occur. METHODS:Aged rats were housed for 6 weeks in one of three housing conditions: environmentally enriched (EE), socially enriched (SE), or standard condition (SC). Further, a 4th group was co-treated with VitD supplementation (400 IU kg daily, 6 weeks) under EE conditions (EE + VitD). RESULTS:Treatment with VitD and EE housing were associated with higher score on measures of learning and memory and exhibited lower anxiety scores compared to EE alone, SE or SC as assayed in the elevated plus maze, Morris water maze, passive avoidance, and open field tasks. Additionally, in the EE + VitD group, mRNA expression levels of NGF, TrkA, BDNF, Nrf2, and IGF-1 were significantly higher compared to expression seen in the EE group. Furthermore, field potential recordings showed that EE + VitD resulted in a greater enhancement of hippocampal LTP and neuronal excitability when compared to EE alone. CONCLUSIONS:These findings demonstrate that in aged rats exposure to EE and VitD results in effects on hippocampal cognitive dysfunction and molecular mechanisms which are greater than effects of EE alone, suggesting potential for synergistic therapeutic effects for management of age-related cognitive decline.