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Environmental enrichment ameliorates a motor coordination deficit in a mouse model of Rett syndrome Mecp2 gene dosage effects and BDNF expression

Kondo, Mari, Gray, Laura J., Pelka, Gregory J., Christodoulou, John, Tam, Patrick P. L. and Hannan, Anthony J. 2008, Environmental enrichment ameliorates a motor coordination deficit in a mouse model of Rett syndrome Mecp2 gene dosage effects and BDNF expression, European journal of neuroscience, vol. 27, no. 12, pp. 3342-3350, doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2008.06305.x.

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Title Environmental enrichment ameliorates a motor coordination deficit in a mouse model of Rett syndrome Mecp2 gene dosage effects and BDNF expression
Author(s) Kondo, Mari
Gray, Laura J.
Pelka, Gregory J.
Christodoulou, John
Tam, Patrick P. L.
Hannan, Anthony J.
Journal name European journal of neuroscience
Volume number 27
Issue number 12
Start page 3342
End page 3350
Total pages 9
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2008-06
ISSN 0953-816X
1460-9568
Summary Rett syndrome, commonly associated with mutations of the methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene, is characterised by an apparently normal early postnatal development followed by deterioration of acquired cognitive and motor coordination skills in early childhood. To evaluate whether environmental factors may influence the disease outcome of Rett syndrome, we tested the effect of environmental enrichment from 4 weeks of age on the behavioural competence of mutant mice harboring a Mecp2 tm1Tam-null allele. Our findings show that enrichment improves motor coordination in heterozygous Mecp2 +/− females but not Mecp2 −/y males. Standard-housed Mecp2 +/− mice had an initial motor coordination deficit on the accelerating rotarod, which improved with training then deteriorated in subsequent weeks. Enrichment resulted in a significant reduction in this coordination deficit in Mecp2 +/− mice, returning the performance to wild-type levels. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein levels were 75 and 85% of wild-type controls in standard-housed and environmentally enriched Mecp2 +/− cerebellum, respectively. Mecp2 −/y mice showed identical deficits of cerebellar BDNF (67% of wild-type controls) irrespective of their housing environment. Our findings demonstrate a positive impact of environmental enrichment in a Rett syndrome model; this impact may be dependent on the existence of one functional copy of Mecp2.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2008.06305.x
Field of Research 110999 Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2008, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30075523

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Medicine
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