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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(8), 16111-16123; doi:10.3390/ijms140816111
Article

Gender-Dependent Effects of Enriched Environment and Social Isolation in Ischemic Retinal Lesion in Adult Rats

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2,3
 and
1,*
1 PTE-MTA "Lendulet" PACAP Research Team, Department of Anatomy, University of Pecs, Pécs 7624, Hungary 2 Department of Experimental Zoology and Neurobiology, University of Pecs, Pécs 7624, Hungary 3 Janos Szentagothai Research Center, University of Pécs, Pécs 7624, Hungary
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 June 2013 / Revised: 10 July 2013 / Accepted: 17 July 2013 / Published: 5 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotective Strategies 2014)
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Abstract

Exposure to an enriched environment has been shown to have many positive effects on brain structure and function. Numerous studies have proven that enriched environment can reduce the lesion induced by toxic and traumatic injuries. Impoverished environment, on the other hand, can have deleterious effects on the outcome of neuronal injuries. We have previously shown that enriched conditions have protective effects in retinal injury in newborn rats. It is well-known that the efficacy of neuroprotective strategies can depend on age and gender. The aim of the present study, therefore, was to examine the effects of environmental enrichment and social isolation in retinal ischemia. We used bilateral common carotid artery occlusion to induce retinal hypoperfusion in adult Wistar rats of both genders. Groups were housed in standard, enriched or impoverished conditions. Impoverished environment was induced by social isolation. Retinas were processed for histological analysis after two weeks of survival. In the present study, we show that (1) enriched environment has protective effects in adult ischemic retinal lesion, while (2) impoverished environment further increases the degree of ischemic injury, and (3) that these environmental effects are gender-dependent: females are less responsive to the positive effects of environmental enrichment and more vulnerable to retinal ischemia in social isolation. In summary, our present study shows that the effects of both positive and negative environmental stimuli are gender-dependent in ischemic retinal lesions.
Keywords: retina; BCCAO; enriched environment; social isolation; gender retina; BCCAO; enriched environment; social isolation; gender
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kiss, P.; Szabadfi, K.; Horvath, G.; Tamas, A.; Farkas, J.; Gabriel, R.; Reglodi, D. Gender-Dependent Effects of Enriched Environment and Social Isolation in Ischemic Retinal Lesion in Adult Rats. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 16111-16123.

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