Neurovascular and cognitive effects of enriched environment and VEGF administration in developing rats

Postnatal development of the visual cortex is modulated by experience, especially during the critical period. Effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) have been described in the neuronal, glial and vascular components of the neurogliovascular unit (1-4). In addition, VEGF is also involved in hippocampal-dependent learning. Similar effects have been demonstrated for enriched environments. Our aim was to investigate the effects of VEGF administration and enriched environment in learning and memory during the critical period for the visual cortex in rats.

Our results suggest that VEGF administration could lead to the protective effects in the brain structure but does not produce further improvements in cognitive function than the enriched environment alone. Our results support the role of VEGF as extending beyond vascularization. Angioglioneurin administration, alone or in combination with other neuroprotective strategies such as environmental enrichment can be proposed as a non-invasive therapeutic strategy against several CNS diseases.

This work was presented at the 8th FENS Forum of Neuroscience 2012 and can be reviewd HERE: F1000 Posters

 

References:

Ortuzar N, Argandoña EG, Bengoetxea H, Lafuente JV. J Neural Transm 118, 2011 Jan; 135-44
Ortuzar N, Argandoña EG, Bengoetxea H, Leis O, Bulnes S, Lafuente JV. Acta Neurochir Suppl 106, 2010; 55-9
Argandoña EG, Bengoetxea H, Bulnes S, Rico-Barrio I, Ortuzar N, Lafuente JV. Brain Res 1473, 2012 Sep 14; 141-54
Ortuzar N,   I. Rico-Barrio,  Bengoetxea H, Argandoña EG, Lafuente JV. Behav. Brain Res, 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2013.02.036,

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