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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Studies on the influence of enriched-environment housing combined with systemic administration of an alpha2-adrenergic antagonist on spatial learning and hyperactivity after global ischemia in rats.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether an enriched housing environment and/or systemic administration of the alpha2-adrenergic receptor antagonist atipamezole facilitate the rate of spatial learning after global ischemia in rats. METHODS: Carotid arteries were closed for 20 minutes after permanent cauterization of vertebral arteries on the previous day. Enriched-environment housing and drug/saline treatment were begun 3 days after ischemia. For rehabilitation, housing in an enriched environment was combined with exploration in a labyrinth. Behavioral tests (the open-arena test and water-maze learning set task) were performed after 1-week periods of drug/saline treatment three times. In addition, the open-arena test was performed to evaluate the baseline level of animals 2 days after the induction of ischemia and at the end of the experiment, when the water-maze task was assessed in another room. RESULTS: Rats housed in an enriched environment after ischemia showed better acquisition of the water-maze learning set task after 1 week of housing. The influence of atipamezole treatment on this parameter did not reach statistical significance. In the open-arena test, ischemic animals were slightly hyperactive; however, this symptom was eliminated by housing in an enriched environment. CONCLUSIONS: The present data suggest that housing in an enriched environment facilitates the rate of spatial learning in rats with global ischemia. Rehabilitation also alleviated the hyperactivity observed in ischemic animals.[1]


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