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Morphological and cellular changes within embryonic striatal grafts associated with enriched environment and involuntary exercise

Döbrössy, Máté D. and Dunnett, Stephen Bruce 2006. Morphological and cellular changes within embryonic striatal grafts associated with enriched environment and involuntary exercise. European Journal of Neuroscience 24 (11) , pp. 3223-3233. 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2006.05182.x

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Environmental enrichment (EE) and exercise have been implicated in influencing behaviour and altering neuronal processes associated with cellular morphology in both ‘normal’ and injured states of the CNS. Using a rodent model of Huntington's disease, we investigated whether prolonged EE or involuntary exercise can induce morphological and cellular changes within embryonic striatal transplants. Adult rats were trained on the Staircase test – requiring fine motor control to reach and collect reward pellets – prior to being lesioned unilaterally in the dorsal neostriatum with quinolinic acid. The lesioned animals received E15 whole ganglionic eminence cell suspension grafts followed by housing in EE or standard cages. Half of the animals in standard cages received daily forced exercise on a treadmill. The grafted animals showed significant functional recovery on both the Staircase test and in drug-induced rotation. Neither the housing conditions nor the training had an impact on the behaviour, with the exception of the treadmill reducing the ipsilateral drug-induced rotation observed amongst the lesioned animals. However, the animals housed in the EE had significantly increased striatal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels, and graft neurons in these animals exhibited both greater spine densities and larger cell volumes. Animals on forced exercise regime had reduced BDNF levels and grafted cells with sparser spines. The study suggests that the context of the animal can affect the plasticity of transplanted cells. Appropriately exploiting the underlying, and yet unknown, mechanisms could lead the way to improved anatomical and potentially functional integration of the graft.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QP Physiology
Uncontrolled Keywords: enriched environment; graft plasticity; involuntary exercise
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0953-816X
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 22:08

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