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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Environmental enrichment protects spatial learning and hippocampal neurons from the long-lasting effects of protein malnutrition early in life

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Soares, Roberto O. [1] ; Horiquini-Barbosa, Everton [1] ; Almeida, Sebastiao S. [2] ; Lachat, Joao-Jose [1]
Total Authors: 4
[1] Univ Sao Paulo, Ribeirao Preto Med Sch, Dept Surg & Anat, Lab Neuroanat, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[2] Univ Sao Paulo, Fac Philosophy Sci & Letters Ribeirao Preto, Dept Psychol, Lab Nutr & Behav, Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 2
Document type: Journal article
Source: Behavioural Brain Research; v. 335, p. 55-62, SEP 29 2017.
Web of Science Citations: 3

As early protein malnutrition has a critically long-lasting impact on the hippocampal formation and its role in learning and memory, and environmental enrichment has demonstrated great success in ameliorating functional deficits, here we ask whether exposure to an enriched environment could be employed to prevent spatial memory impairment and neuroanatomical changes in the hippocampus of adult rats maintained on a protein deficient diet during brain development (P0-P35). To elucidate the protective effects of environmental enrichment, we used the Morris water task and neuroanatomical analysis to determine whether changes in spatial memory and number and size of CAl neurons differed significantly among groups. Protein malnutrition and environmental enrichment during brain development had significant effects on the spatial memory and hippocampal anatomy of adult rats. Malnourished but non-enriched rats (MN) required more time to find the hidden platform than well-nourished but non-enriched rats (WN). Malnourished but enriched rats (ME) performed better than the MN and similarly to the WN rats. There was no difference between well -nourished but non-enriched and enriched rats (WE). Anatomically, fewer CAl neurons were found in the hippocampus of MN rats than in those of WN rats. However, it was also observed that ME and WN rats retained a similar number of neurons. These results suggest that environmental enrichment during brain development alters cognitive task performance and hippocampal neuroanatomy in a manner that is neuroprotective against malnutrition-induced brain injury. These results could have significant implications for malnourished infants expected to be at risk of disturbed brain development. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/00827-2 - Effects of environmental enrichment on morphology of central nervous system and behavior of male rats submitted to postnatal protein malnutrition and nutritionally recovered
Grantee:Roberto de Oliveira Soares
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate