Accumulating evidence shows that environmental enrichment increases neurogenesis in the adult hippocampal dentate gyrus. The goal of the current study was to examine the effect of environmental enrichment on hippocampal neurogenesis during early life stages. We used as an animal model the guinea pig, a precocious rodent that is early independent from maternal care. Animals were assigned to either a standard (control) or an enriched environment a few days after birth (P5-P6). Between P14 and P17 animals received one daily bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) injection, to label dividing cells, and were sacrificed either on P18, to evaluate cell proliferation or on P45, to evaluate cell survival and differentiation. In 18-day old enriched animals, there was a larger number of BrdU-positive cells compared to that found in controls. At P45, enriched animals had more surviving cells and more cells with a neuronal phenotype than controls. Unbiased stereology revealed that enriched animals had more granule cells (+37% at P18 and +31% at P45). Results show that environmental enrichment in the early postnatal period notably increases cell proliferation and survival, with a large increase in the number of neurons forming the granule cell layer. The impact of environmental enrichment in the early postnatal period emphasizes the relevance of extrinsic factors in the modulation of neurogenesis during critical time windows of hippocampal development.

Impact of environmental enrichment on neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus during the early postnatal period.

RIZZI, SIMONA;BIANCHI, PATRIZIA;GUIDI, SANDRA;CIANI, ELISABETTA;BARTESAGHI, RENATA
2011

Abstract

Accumulating evidence shows that environmental enrichment increases neurogenesis in the adult hippocampal dentate gyrus. The goal of the current study was to examine the effect of environmental enrichment on hippocampal neurogenesis during early life stages. We used as an animal model the guinea pig, a precocious rodent that is early independent from maternal care. Animals were assigned to either a standard (control) or an enriched environment a few days after birth (P5-P6). Between P14 and P17 animals received one daily bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) injection, to label dividing cells, and were sacrificed either on P18, to evaluate cell proliferation or on P45, to evaluate cell survival and differentiation. In 18-day old enriched animals, there was a larger number of BrdU-positive cells compared to that found in controls. At P45, enriched animals had more surviving cells and more cells with a neuronal phenotype than controls. Unbiased stereology revealed that enriched animals had more granule cells (+37% at P18 and +31% at P45). Results show that environmental enrichment in the early postnatal period notably increases cell proliferation and survival, with a large increase in the number of neurons forming the granule cell layer. The impact of environmental enrichment in the early postnatal period emphasizes the relevance of extrinsic factors in the modulation of neurogenesis during critical time windows of hippocampal development.
RIZZI S; BIANCHI P; GUIDI S; CIANI E; BARTESAGHI R
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/109099
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