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Aging, Environmental Enrichment, Object Recognition and Astrocyte Plasticity in Dentate Gyrus (pp.91-108) $100.00
Authors:  (Daniel Guerreiro Diniz, César Augusto Raiol Foro, Marcia Consentino Kronka Sosthenes, João Bento- Torres, Pedro Fernando da Costa Vasconcelos, Cristovam Wanderley and Picanço-Diniz, Universidade Federal do Pará, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Laboratório de Investigações em Neurodegeneração e Infecção – Hospital Universitário João de Barros Barreto, Rua Mundurucus, Guamá, CEP Belém, Pará, Brazil and others)
Acquisition and retrieval of spatial information are hippocampal-dependent tasks that can be impaired by structural/functional changes induced by aging. Episodic-like and spatial memory are hippocampal-dependent tasks, as they are selectively disrupted by fornix lesions, by lesions of the dorsal and/or ventral hippocampus, by disruption of the CA3 network, or by hippocampal infusion of NMDA and AMPA receptor antagonists. In the present chapter we intend to review the available literature in murine models where object recognition was assessed and correlated with astrocyte changes in the hippocampal formation.
We correlated performed behavioral assessments with morphology and laminar distribution of astrocytes in dentate gyrus in both aged and young mice housed from weaning, either in impoverished or enriched environments.
From our previous and present results we have learned that in the dentate gyrus the number and morphology of astrocytes change with both aging and enriched environment in a layer-dependent fashion and the impoverished condition is associated with abnormal cognitive development and an altered laminar distribution of astrocytes. A quantitative analysis of the laminar distribution of the astrocytes in the dentate gyrus revealed that the molecular layer developed astrocytosis in response to both environmental enrichment and aging, the polymorphic layer was altered only by aging and granular layer did not change de number of astrocytes.
Because aging and enriched environment induced astrocytosis in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus, the main target of the entorhinal-to-dentate projection, we speculate that those two conditions may induce the proliferation of different astrocyte phenotypes. Paradoxically, as compared with young subjects, aged mice from enriched environment showed a higher degree of astrocytes shrinkage than age-matched subjects from impoverished environment. Taken together, our results are consistent with previous reports showing that impoverished or enriched environments could prevent or preserve respectively, normal cognitive development. We suggest that astroglial plasticity may represent at least part of the circuitry groundwork for improvements in behavioral performance in both young and aged brain. 

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Aging, Environmental Enrichment, Object Recognition and Astrocyte Plasticity in Dentate Gyrus (pp.91-108)