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Neurosci Lett. 1996 Nov 1;218(2):107-10.

Expression of neurotrophin-3 mRNA in the rat visual cortex and hippocampus is influenced by environmental conditions.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Family Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.


Environmental enrichment results in structural changes in the brain. Recent findings indicate involvement of neurotrophins in neuronal plasticity. This study examined the effect of environmental complexity on the levels of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) mRNA in the rat visual cortex and hippocampus, studied by in situ hybridization. Rats housed in groups in a complex, stimulating environment had significantly higher levels of NT-3 mRNA in the visual cortex and the hippocampus than rats housed in individual cages without stimulating objects. These results indicate a possible role for NT-3 in synaptic plasticity.

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