Document Detail

Physical exercise is required for environmental enrichment to offset the quantitative effects of dark-rearing on the S-100beta astrocytic density in the rat visual cortex.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19500177     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
After birth, exposure to visual inputs modulates cortical development, inducing numerous changes in all of the components of the visual cortex. Most of the cortical changes thus induced occur during what is called the critical period. Astrocytes play an important role in the development, maintenance and plasticity of the cortex as well as in the structure and function of the vascular network. Visual deprivation induces a decrease in the astroglial population, whereas enhanced experience increases it. Exposure to an enriched environment has been shown to prevent the effects of dark-rearing in the visual cortex. Our purpose was to study the effects of an enriched environment on the density of astrocytes per reference surface at the visual cortex of dark-reared rats, in order to determine if enhanced experience is able to compensate the quantitative effects of visual deprivation and the role of physical exercise on the enrichment paradigm. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were raised in one of the following rearing conditions: control rats with standard housing (12-h light/dark cycle); in total darkness for the dark-rearing experiments; and dark-rearing in conditions of enriched environment without and with physical exercise. The astrocytic density was estimated by immunohistochemistry for S-100beta protein. Quantifications were performed in layer IV. The somatosensorial cortex barrel field was also studied as control. The volume of layer IV was stereologically calculated for each region, age and experimental condition. From the beginning of the critical period, astrocyte density was higher in control rats than in the enriched environment group without physical exercise, with densities of astrocytes around 20% higher at all of the different ages. In contrast, when the animals had access to voluntary exercise, densities were significantly higher than even the control rats. Our main result shows that strategies to apply environmental enrichment should always consider the incorporation of physical exercise, even for sensorial areas such as the visual area, where complex enriched experience by itself is not enough to compensate the effects of visual deprivation.
Enrike G Argandoña; Harkaitz Bengoetxea; José V Lafuente
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-06-04
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of anatomy     Volume:  215     ISSN:  1469-7580     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Anat.     Publication Date:  2009 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-08-07     Completed Date:  2010-05-25     Revised Date:  2011-08-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0137162     Medline TA:  J Anat     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  132-40     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Nursing I, Faculty of Medicine and Odontology, Basque Country University, Leioa, Spain.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / pathology,  physiology
Astrocytes / chemistry,  cytology*
Cell Count
Nerve Growth Factors / analysis*
Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
Physical Exertion / physiology*
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
S100 Proteins / analysis*
Sensory Deprivation / physiology*
Somatosensory Cortex / cytology,  growth & development
Visual Cortex / cytology,  growth & development*,  physiology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Nerve Growth Factors; 0/S-100 calcium-binding protein beta subunit; 0/S100 Proteins
Erratum In:
J Anat. 2010 Mar;216(3):420

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