Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 2435–2450 | Cite as

Environmental Enrichment Improves Behavior, Cognition, and Brain Functional Markers in Young Senescence-Accelerated Prone Mice (SAMP8)

  • Christian Griñan-Ferré
  • David Pérez-Cáceres
  • Sofía Martínez Gutiérrez-Zetina
  • Antoni Camins
  • Verónica Palomera-Avalos
  • Daniel Ortuño-Sahagún
  • M. Teresa Rodrigo
  • M. Pallàs


The environment in which organisms live can greatly influence their development. Consequently, environmental enrichment (EE) is progressively recognized as an important component in the improvement of brain function and development. It has been demonstrated that rodents raised under EE conditions exhibit favorable neuroanatomical effects that improve their learning, spatial memory, and behavioral performance. Here, by using senescence-accelerated prone mice (SAMP8) and these as a model of adverse genetic conditions for brain development, we determined the effect of EE by raising these mice during early life under favorable conditions. We found a better generalized performance of SAMP8 under EE in the results of four behavioral and learning tests. In addition, we demonstrated broad molecular correlation in the hippocampus by an increase in NeuN and Ki67 expression, as well as an increase in the expression of neurotrophic factors, such as pleiotrophin (PTN) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), with a parallel decrease in neurodegenerative markers such as GSK3, amyloid-beta precursor protein, and phosphorylated beta-catenin, and a reduction of SBDP120, Bax, GFAP, and interleukin-6 (IL-6), resulting in a neuroprotective panorama. Globally, it can be concluded that EE applied to SAMP8 at young ages resulted in epigenetic regulatory mechanisms that give rise to significant beneficial effects at the molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels during brain development, particularly in the hippocampus.


Neurodenegeration Behavior Learning Enriched environment Neurogenesis Apoptosis Inflammation Hippocampus Neurotrophin Tau kinases Aging Cognition 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Griñan-Ferré
    • 1
  • David Pérez-Cáceres
    • 2
  • Sofía Martínez Gutiérrez-Zetina
    • 1
  • Antoni Camins
    • 1
  • Verónica Palomera-Avalos
    • 1
  • Daniel Ortuño-Sahagún
    • 3
  • M. Teresa Rodrigo
    • 2
  • M. Pallàs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutic Chemistry (Pharmacology Section) and Institute of Biomedicine (IBUB)Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Animal Experimentation Unit, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias Biomédicas (IICB), CUCSUniversidad de GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico

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