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PLoS One. 2010 Jun 15;5(6):e11130. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011130.

Effects of enriched physical and social environments on motor performance, associative learning, and hippocampal neurogenesis in mice.

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1
Division of Neurosciences, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain.

Abstract

We have studied the motor abilities and associative learning capabilities of adult mice placed in different enriched environments. Three-month-old animals were maintained for a month alone (AL), alone in a physically enriched environment (PHY), and, finally, in groups in the absence (SO) or presence (SOPHY) of an enriched environment. The animals' capabilities were subsequently checked in the rotarod test, and for classical and instrumental learning. The PHY and SOPHY groups presented better performances in the rotarod test and in the acquisition of the instrumental learning task. In contrast, no significant differences between groups were observed for classical eyeblink conditioning. The four groups presented similar increases in the strength of field EPSPs (fEPSPs) evoked at the hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapse across classical conditioning sessions, with no significant differences between groups. These trained animals were pulse-injected with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to determine hippocampal neurogenesis. No significant differences were found in the number of NeuN/BrdU double-labeled neurons. We repeated the same BrdU study in one-month-old mice raised for an additional month in the above-mentioned four different environments. These animals were not submitted to rotarod or conditioned tests. Non-trained PHY and SOPHY groups presented more neurogenesis than the other two groups. Thus, neurogenesis seems to be related to physical enrichment at early ages, but not to learning acquisition in adult mice.

PMID:
20559565
PMCID:
PMC2886110
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0011130
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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