Perinatal experience alters brain development and functional recovery after cerebral injury in rats

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Gibb, Robbin L.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2004
Brain damage in the first week of life is behaviorally and anatomically devastating for a rat. I investigated the use of pre- and/or postnatal experience as interventions that might improve the outcomes in rats with postnatal day 4 (P4) frontal cortex lesions. Prenatal maternal tactile stimulation or maternal complex housing facilitated recovery in P4 lesion animals and produced changes in brain organization. Post-lesion tactile stimulation also was found to be beneficial possibly via experience dependent changes in FGF-2 expression. Levels of FGF-2 were increased in both skin and brain after tactile stimulation and correlated with behavioral and anatomical changes. Direct post-lesion administration of FGF-2 had similar effects. These results are the first demonstration that prenatal experience can be prophylactic for postnatal brain injury and that behavioral experience can act on brain organization via enhanced trophic factor expression originating in skin.
xxi, 221 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Brain -- Wounds and injuries -- Research , Dissertations, Academic , Brain damage -- Research , Rats -- Physiology