Document Detail

Environmental enrichment reverses behavioral alterations in rats prenatally exposed to valproic acid: issues for a therapeutic approach in autism.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15920505     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Environmental enrichment has been repeatedly shown to affect multiple aspects of brain function, and is known to improve cognitive, behavioral, and histopathological outcome after brain injuries. The purpose of the present experiments was to determine the effect of an enriched environment on behavioral aberrations observed in male rats exposed to valproic acid on day 12.5 of gestation (VPA rats), and proposed on the basis of etiological, anatomical, and behavioral data as an animal model of autism. Environmental enrichment reversed almost all behavioral alterations observed in the model. VPA rats after environmental enrichment (VPA-E) compared to VPA rats reared in standard conditions have higher sensitivity to pain and lower sensitivity to nonpainful stimuli; stronger acoustic prepulse inhibition; lower locomotor, repetitive/stereotypic-like activity, and enhanced exploratory activity; decreased anxiety; increased number of social behaviors; and shorter latency to social explorations. In comparison with control animals (Con), VPA-E rats exhibited increased number of pinnings in adolescence and social explorations in adulthood, and were less anxious in the elevated plus maze. Similar differences in social behavior and anxiety were observed between control rats exposed to environmental enrichment (Con-E) and control group reared in standard conditions. These results suggest that postnatal environmental manipulations can counteract the behavioral alterations in VPA rats. We propose environmental enrichment as an important tool for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders.
Tomasz Schneider; Joanna Turczak; Ryszard Przewłocki
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology     Volume:  31     ISSN:  0893-133X     ISO Abbreviation:  Neuropsychopharmacology     Publication Date:  2006 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-12-16     Completed Date:  2006-05-12     Revised Date:  2011-05-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8904907     Medline TA:  Neuropsychopharmacology     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  36-46     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Neuropsychopharmacology (2006) 31, 36-46. doi:10.1038/sj.npp.1300767; published online 25 May 2005.
Department of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland.
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MeSH Terms
Anticonvulsants / toxicity*
Anxiety / psychology
Autistic Disorder / psychology*
Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
Exploratory Behavior / drug effects
Maze Learning / drug effects
Motor Activity / drug effects
Nociceptors / drug effects
Pain / psychology
Pain Measurement / drug effects
Pain Threshold / drug effects
Physical Stimulation
Rats, Wistar
Social Behavior
Startle Reaction / drug effects
Stereotyped Behavior / drug effects
Valproic Acid / toxicity*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Anticonvulsants; 99-66-1/Valproic Acid

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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