C.I. Fernandez, J. Collazo, Y. Bauza, O. Lopez

The effects of environment enrichment on motor activity, exploration and cognitive performances were studied in aged rats. Both, non-impaired (NI) and impaired (I) rats were submitted to daily training in complex-enriched environment (cEE) for 60 days. Animal were examined at spatial water maze task, passive avoidance test, open field test and sensorimotor coordination tasks (bridges test and Marshall scales). At the end of experiment animal were sacrificed for brain biochemical determinations (gluthatione content and specific-ChAT activity). Results after first evaluation (before training) corroborate that aged rats population shows an heterogeneity in behavioural patterns like that observed in humans. Also, cEE modified exploration activity, cognition, motor functions and biochemical markers in both NI and I groups but changes reach significant relevance for the last one group. It is suggestive that neurotrophins, "novo" synthesis of neurotransmitters and oxidative stress levels may be mediated the observed changes, indicating that the aged brain still has appreciable plasticity in response to well-manipulated environmental stimulation. Finally our results also leading to support the novel concepts and programs in prevention/reduction both, incidence/severity and outcome of age-associated neurodegenerative conditions.

Keywords (Optional): 
environmental enrichment
motor function