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Effects of environmental enrichment on morphology of central nervous system and behavior of male rats submitted to postnatal protein malnutrition and nutritionally recovered

Grant number: 13/00827-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2013
Effective date (End): July 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Joao Jose Lachat
Grantee:Roberto de Oliveira Soares
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Rats submitted to neonatal protein malnutrition require a larger quantity of trials to find the platform submerged in the Morris water maze Test (LAM) compared to rats well-nourished. Malnutrition can also influence the activity of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) in addition to affecting the development of hippocampal neurons. Damage caused by malnutrition may be partially reversed by environmental stimulation. It has been shown that environmental enrichment can influence plasmatic corticosterone levels altering the sensitivity of the HPA axis, and preserves brain structures such as the hippocampus. The objective of this study is to compare the effects of environmental enrichment, performed along one hour per day of 8th to the 35th day of life in rats early malnourished and well-nourished about the morphology of the hippocampus and hypothalamus, the amount of glucocorticoid receptors in hippocampus and hypothalamus, and performance in the LAM to 71 and 72 days of age. One day after the test animals should be subjected to transcardiac perfusion with fixative solution and have their brains removed for histological structures and quantification of glucocorticoid receptors in the hippocampus and hypothalamus where there will be an immunofluorescence. Data from animal weight, behavioral and quantification will be submitted to the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and when necessary will be performed to test for multiple comparisons (Newman Keuls) and considered significant p <0.05. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SOARES, ROBERTO O.; HORIQUINI-BARBOSA, EVERTON; ALMEIDA, SEBASTIAO S.; LACHAT, JOAO-JOSE. Environmental enrichment protects spatial learning and hippocampal neurons from the long-lasting effects of protein malnutrition early in life. Behavioural Brain Research, v. 335, p. 55-62, . (13/00827-2)

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