Environmental enrichment reverts the cognitive effects of altitude hypoxia inducing changes at the neurogliovascular unit

Microvascular environment plays a fundamental role in the adaptive response to increases in activity, involving an increase in energy demand. To punctual increases in demand, the response is effected by changes in local flow, but if demand remains high, angiogenic process is triggered through the formation of new capillaries from preexisting vessels. The triggering factor of angiogenesis is local neuronal hypoxia as a result of increased activity, mediated by angioglioneurins whose main exponent is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). There are situations in which hypoxia is not from an increase in activity, but a decrease in available oxygen, as occurs in the altitude exposure.Our goal is to study the changes underlying microvascular acute adaptation to moderate altitude and the possible effects of physical exercise and environmental enrichment and the behavioural effects of acute altitude hypoxia on spatial and visual memory.

The acute adaptation to moderate altitude is an increasingly relevant issue given the increase in displacements at moderate or high altitudes, with serious consequences such as acute mountain sickness, which in its most severe degree leads to brain edema. Our results show that exercise can play a protective role through adaptive angiogenesis. The acute adaptation to moderate altitude is an increasingly relevant issue given the increase in displacements at moderate or high altitudes, with serious consequences such as acute mountain sickness, which in its most severe degree leads to brain edema. Our results show that exercise can play a protective role through adaptive angiogenesis. On the other hand, although exploration time did not differ significantly, altitude seems to have effects on both spatial and visual memory, which are compensated by rearing in a complex environment.

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