Recent studies have demonstrated that animals housed in an enriched environment after an experimental stroke obtained a better functional outcome than those housed in a standard cage; however, little is known about the gene expression associated with this functional recovery. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate the expression of genes in an enriched environment after experimental stroke in the ischemic and non-ischemic sides of the cortices. Transient focal brain ischemia was produced by the occlusion of the right middle cerebral artery (t-MCAO) in male Sprague-Dawley rats. The rats were divided into 3 groups: ischemic rats housed in the enriched environment, ischemic rats housed in standard cages, and non-ischemic rats in standard cages. Four weeks after t-MCAO, the rats were sacrificed and gene expression was examined. Motor function was improved in ischemic rats housed in the enriched environment compared with those in standard cages; however, there were no significant differences in the size of the infarct area between the ischemic rats in the enriched environment and those in standard cages. Decreases in the expression of Egr-1, -2, and BDNF mRNA in both sides of the cortices were detected in rats housed in the enriched environment, indicating that gene expression was altered throughout the brain at 4 weeks after transient focal ischemia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology