The opposing effect of environmental & dietary modification vs. stress on brain activity and cognition in rats

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPoster abstractpeer-review


The aim was to characterise changes in brain activity and plasticity induced by environmental enrichment and dietary restriction (EEDR), as a model of active lifestyle, and to contrast these to the state of chronic stress induced by daily injections of corticosterone (CORT).
Male rats underwent EEDR or CORT over 8 and 4 weeks, respectively. All animals were tested for novel object recognition, locomotor behaviour and BRDU was injected to measure neurogenesis. At the end they were implanted with stimulating (CA1) and recording (prefrontal cortex) electrodes and EEG was recorded under urethane anaesthesia. We measured long term potentiation (LTP), after high frequency stimulation. We also performed spectral analysis of the evoked potentials (EPs), and of the resting EEG signal.
EEDR increased novel object exploration, an indication of improved cognition. Locomotor activity was unaffected. Neurogenesis was increased in the dentate gyrus. In EEG, LTP was increased, and there was a significant increase in EPs spectral power in 70-90 Hz frequency.
CORT treatment decreased novel object exploration, as well as time spent in centre of open field arena. Neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus was decreased. LTP was decreased and there was a decrease in the low frequency (0-10Hz) range of EPs spectral power, as well as a reduced delta power in the resting EEG.
The two protocols caused opposite effects on multiple parameters linked to brain plasticity and cognition. Of particular interest are the novel findings of changes in baseline resting EEG and in EPs, in addition to LTP.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationForum of Neuroscience 2016
PublisherFederation of European Neuroscience Societies
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Event10th FENS Forum of Neuroscience, Copenhagen - Copenhagen
Duration: 2 Jul 20166 Jul 2016


Conference10th FENS Forum of Neuroscience, Copenhagen


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