The Effects of Hippocampal Lesions on Neurotrophins in the Rodent Neocortex

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McKinnon, Jarret
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience
Environmental enrichment (EE) upregulates neurotrophin (NT) expression in both the hippocampus (HPC) and neocortex. We expected this effect to be reduced in the NC by hippocampal lesions. To test this, middle-aged female rats with unilateral, bilateral or sham lesions of the HPC, lived in enriched or social housing. After three months, rats freely explored a novel environment for 5 minutes, were immediately perfused and brains processed for brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) protein. Hippocampal lesions had no effect on BDNF in neocortex. Right, but not left, hippocampal lesions had a significant negative impact on behavioral exploration of social rats; and this effect was not present in the enriched group. Enriched rats showed significantly reduced BDNF expression in deep cortex with a similar trend in superficial layers regardless of lesion condition. The role of the HPC in neocortical plasticity processes remains variable and unclear.
Brain derived neurotrophic factor , Environmental enrichment , Hippocampus , Neurotrophin , Rats