Short environmental enrichment in adulthood reverses anxiety and basolateral amygdala …

Citation: Translational Psychiatry (2016) 6, e729; doi:10.1038/tp.2015.217Published online 2 February 2016 Top of page Introduction Adversity in early postnatal life has a lasting negative impact on behavioural and emotional functioning of individuals.1, 2, 3 Compelling evidence suggests that rodent maternal separation (MS), now widely used to mimic early-life stress in human infants, leads to hyper-reactivity of the hypothalamic−pituitary−adrenal axis in adulthood.4, 5, 6 This is accompanied by anxious or depressive-like behaviour or cognitive deficits in some instances.7, 8, 9, 10 In addition, these effects have been suggested to be downstream of neuroplasticity alterations. In particular, early-life stress leads to reductions in hippocampal neurogenesis11, 12, 13 as well as retraction of dendrites and spine density of the hippocampus14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC).17, 19, 20 A single episode of…


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