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Sample records for early environmental enrichment

  1. Effects of early environmental enrichment upon open-field behavior and timidity in the domestic chick.

    PubMed

    Jones, R B

    1982-03-01

    Early environmental enrichment was evaluated by its effect on the behavior of 7-day-old male and female domestic chicks in an open field or novel environment and in a hole-in-the-wall test of timidity. The chicks were housed in same-sex groups of 10. The bare environments contained wood litter, food, and water, whereas the enriched boxes also contained various objects. In the open field, immobility was lower while feeding, walking, jumping and vocalization were higher in the enriched birds than in those reared in the bare environment. Enrichment also decreased emergence latencies in the hole-in-the-wall box. The increased stimulation provided by environmental enrichment may decrease fearfulness in subsequent fear-inducing situations and may enhance the ability of animals to adapt to novelty.

  2. The impact of early postnatal environmental enrichment on maternal care and offspring behaviour following weaning.

    PubMed

    Li, Ki Angel; Lund, Emilie Torp; Voigt, Jörg-Peter W

    2016-01-01

    The early postnatal period is a sensitive period in rodents as behavioural systems are developing and maturing during this time. However, relatively little information is available about the impact of environmental enrichment on offspring behaviour if enrichment is implemented only during this period. Here, environmental enrichment was provided from postnatal day 1 until weaning. On post-natal day 9, maternal behaviour and nonmaternal behaviour of the dam was observed. Nursing time in the enriched group was reduced but dams showed more non-maternal appetitive behaviours. Offspring were exposed to either the open field or the elevated plus maze (EPM) after weaning. In the open field, rats from the enriched group approached the more aversive inner zone of the open field later than control rats. Offspring from the enriched group made fewer entries into the inner zone and spent less time in this part of the arena. Enrichment had no impact on behaviour in the EPM. The present study provides evidence that postnatal enrichment can interfere with maternal behaviour in rats and can possibly lead to increased anxiety in the offspring. The findings suggest that enrichment procedures can have potentially unintended effects, interfering with the development of emotional behaviours in rats. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Early Environmental Enrichment Enhances Abnormal Brain Connectivity in a Rabbit Model of Intrauterine Growth Restriction.

    PubMed

    Illa, Miriam; Brito, Verónica; Pla, Laura; Eixarch, Elisenda; Arbat-Plana, Ariadna; Batallé, Dafnis; Muñoz-Moreno, Emma; Crispi, Fatima; Udina, Esther; Figueras, Francesc; Ginés, Silvia; Gratacós, Eduard

    2017-10-12

    The structural correspondence of neurodevelopmental impairments related to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) that persists later in life remains elusive. Moreover, early postnatal stimulation strategies have been proposed to mitigate these effects. Long-term brain connectivity abnormalities in an IUGR rabbit model and the effects of early postnatal environmental enrichment (EE) were explored. IUGR was surgically induced in one horn, whereas the contralateral one produced the controls. Postnatally, a subgroup of IUGR animals was housed in an enriched environment. Functional assessment was performed at the neonatal and long-term periods. At the long-term period, structural brain connectivity was evaluated by means of diffusion-weighted brain magnetic resonance imaging and by histological assessment focused on the hippocampus. IUGR animals displayed poorer functional results and presented altered whole-brain networks and decreased median fractional anisotropy in the hippocampus. Reduced density of dendritic spines and perineuronal nets from hippocampal neurons were also observed. Of note, IUGR animals exposed to enriched environment presented an improvement in terms of both function and structure. IUGR is associated with altered brain connectivity at the global and cellular level. A strategy based on early EE has the potential to restore the neurodevelopmental consequences of IUGR. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  4. Juvenile psittacine environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Simone-Freilicher, Elisabeth; Rupley, Agnes E

    2015-05-01

    Environmental enrichment is of great import to the emotional, intellectual, and physical development of the juvenile psittacine and their success in the human home environment. Five major types of enrichment include social, occupational, physical, sensory, and nutritional. Occupational enrichment includes exercise and psychological enrichment. Physical enrichment includes the cage and accessories and the external home environment. Sensory enrichment may be visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or taste oriented. Nutritional enrichment includes variations in appearance, type, and frequency of diet, and treats, novelty, and foraging. Two phases of the preadult period deserve special enrichment considerations: the development of autonomy and puberty. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Early natural stimulation through environmental enrichment accelerates neuronal development in the mouse dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Liu, Na; He, Shan; Yu, Xiang

    2012-01-01

    The dentate gyrus is the primary afferent into the hippocampal formation, with important functions in learning and memory. Granule cells, the principle neuronal type in the dentate gyrus, are mostly formed postnatally, in a process that continues into adulthood. External stimuli, including environmental enrichment, voluntary exercise and learning, have been shown to significantly accelerate the generation and maturation of dentate granule cells in adult rodents. Whether, and to what extent, such environmental stimuli regulate the development and maturation of dentate granule cells during early postnatal development is largely unknown. Furthermore, whether natural stimuli affect the synaptic properties of granule cells had been investigated neither in newborn neurons of the adult nor during early development. To examine the effect of natural sensory stimulation on the dentate gyrus, we reared newborn mice in an enriched environment (EE). Using immunohistochemistry, we showed that dentate granule cells from EE-reared mice exhibited earlier morphological maturation, manifested as faster peaking of doublecortin expression and elevated expression of mature neuronal markers (including NeuN, calbindin and MAP2) at the end of the second postnatal week. Also at the end of the second postnatal week, we found increased density of dendritic spines across the entire dentate gyrus, together with elevated levels of postsynaptic scaffold (post-synaptic density 95) and receptor proteins (GluR2 and GABA(A)Rγ2) of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Furthermore, dentate granule cells of P14 EE-reared mice had lower input resistances and increased glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic inputs. Together, our results demonstrate that EE-rearing promotes morphological and electrophysiological maturation of dentate granule cells, underscoring the importance of natural environmental stimulation on development of the dentate gyrus.

  6. Environmental enrichment protects spatial learning and hippocampal neurons from the long-lasting effects of protein malnutrition early in life.

    PubMed

    Soares, Roberto O; Horiquini-Barbosa, Everton; Almeida, Sebastião S; Lachat, João-José

    2017-09-29

    As early protein malnutrition has a critically long-lasting impact on the hippocampal formation and its role in learning and memory, and environmental enrichment has demonstrated great success in ameliorating functional deficits, here we ask whether exposure to an enriched environment could be employed to prevent spatial memory impairment and neuroanatomical changes in the hippocampus of adult rats maintained on a protein deficient diet during brain development (P0-P35). To elucidate the protective effects of environmental enrichment, we used the Morris water task and neuroanatomical analysis to determine whether changes in spatial memory and number and size of CA1 neurons differed significantly among groups. Protein malnutrition and environmental enrichment during brain development had significant effects on the spatial memory and hippocampal anatomy of adult rats. Malnourished but non-enriched rats (MN) required more time to find the hidden platform than well-nourished but non-enriched rats (WN). Malnourished but enriched rats (ME) performed better than the MN and similarly to the WN rats. There was no difference between well-nourished but non-enriched and enriched rats (WE). Anatomically, fewer CA1 neurons were found in the hippocampus of MN rats than in those of WN rats. However, it was also observed that ME and WN rats retained a similar number of neurons. These results suggest that environmental enrichment during brain development alters cognitive task performance and hippocampal neuroanatomy in a manner that is neuroprotective against malnutrition-induced brain injury. These results could have significant implications for malnourished infants expected to be at risk of disturbed brain development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Beneficial effects of environmental enrichment on behavior, stress reactivity and synaptophysin/BDNF expression in hippocampus following early life stress.

    PubMed

    Dandi, Εvgenia; Kalamari, Aikaterini; Touloumi, Olga; Lagoudaki, Rosa; Nousiopoulou, Evangelia; Simeonidou, Constantina; Spandou, Evangelia; Tata, Despina A

    2018-06-01

    Exposure to environmental enrichment can beneficially influence the behavior and enhance synaptic plasticity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the mediated effects of environmental enrichment on postnatal stress-associated impact with regard to behavior, stress reactivity as well as synaptic plasticity changes in the dorsal hippocampus. Wistar rat pups were submitted to a 3 h maternal separation (MS) protocol during postnatal days 1-21, while another group was left undisturbed. On postnatal day 23, a subgroup from each rearing condition (maternal separation, no-maternal separation) was housed in enriched environmental conditions until postnatal day 65 (6 weeks duration). At approximately three months of age, adult rats underwent behavioral testing to evaluate anxiety (Elevated Plus Maze), locomotion (Open Field Test), spatial learning and memory (Morris Water Maze) as well as non-spatial recognition memory (Novel Object Recognition Test). After completion of behavioral testing, blood samples were taken for evaluation of stress-induced plasma corticosterone using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), while immunofluorescence was applied to evaluate hippocampal BDNF and synaptophysin expression in dorsal hippocampus. We found that environmental enrichment protected against the effects of maternal separation as indicated by the lower anxiety levels and the reversal of spatial memory deficits compared to animals housed in standard conditions. These changes were associated with increased BDNF and synaptophysin expression in the hippocampus. Regarding the neuroendocrine response to stress, while exposure to an acute stressor potentiated corticosterone increases in maternally-separated rats, environmental enrichment of these rats prevented this effect. The current study aimed at investigating the compensatory role of enriched environment against the negative outcomes of adverse experiences early in life concurrently on emotional and cognitive

  8. Effects of shelter type, early environmental enrichment and weather conditions on free-range behaviour of slow-growing broiler chickens.

    PubMed

    Stadig, L M; Rodenburg, T B; Ampe, B; Reubens, B; Tuyttens, F A M

    2017-06-01

    Free-range use by broiler chickens is often limited, whereas better use of the free-range area could benefit animal welfare. Use of free-range areas could be stimulated by more appropriate shelter or environmental enrichment (by decreasing birds' fearfulness). This study aimed to assess the effects of shelter type, early environmental enrichment and weather conditions on free-range use. Three production rounds with 440 slow-growing broiler chickens (Sasso T451) were carried out. Birds were housed indoors in four groups (two with males, two with females) from days 0 to 25, during which two of the groups received environmental enrichment. At day 23 birds' fearfulness was assessed with a tonic immobility (TI) test (n=100). At day 25 all birds were moved (in mixed-sex groups) to mobile houses, and provided with free-range access from day 28 onwards. Each group could access a range consisting for 50% of grassland with 21 artificial shelters (ASs, wooden A-frames) and for 50% of short rotation coppice (SRC) with willow (dense vegetation). Free-range use was recorded by live observations at 0900, 1300 and 1700 h for 15 to 21 days between days 28 and 63. For each bird observed outside the shelter type (AS or SRC), distance from the house (0 to 2, 2 to 5, >5 m) and its behaviour (only rounds 2 and 3) were recorded. Weather conditions were recorded by four weather stations. On average, 27.1% of the birds were observed outside at any given moment of observation. Early environmental enrichment did not decrease fearfulness as measured by the TI test. It only had a minor effect on the percentage of birds outside (0.4% more birds outside). At all distances from the house, SRC was preferred over AS. In AS, areas closer to the house were preferred over farther ones, in SRC this was less pronounced. Free-range use increased with age and temperature and decreased with wind speed. In AS, rainfall and decreasing solar radiation were related to finding more birds outside, whereas the

  9. Post-weaning Environmental Enrichment, But Not Chronic Maternal Isolation, Enhanced Ethanol Intake during Periadolescence and Early Adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Berardo, Luciana R.; Fabio, María C.; Pautassi, Ricardo M.

    2016-01-01

    This study analyzed ethanol intake in male and female Wistar rats exposed to maternal separation (MS) during infancy (postnatal days 1–21, PD1–21) and environmental enrichment (EE) during adolescence (PD 21–42). Previous work revealed that MS enhances ethanol consumption during adulthood. It is still unknown if a similar effect is found during adolescence. Several studies, in turn, have revealed that EE reverses stress experiences, and reduces ethanol consumption and reinforcement; although others reported greater ethanol intake after EE. The interactive effects between these treatments upon ethanol’s effects and intake have yet to be explored. We assessed chronic ethanol intake and preference (12 two-bottle daily sessions, spread across 30 days, 1st session on PD46) in rats exposed to MS and EE. The main finding was that male – but not female – rats that had been exposed to EE consumed more ethanol than controls given standard housing, an effect that was not affected by MS. Subsequent experiments assessed several factors associated with heightened ethanol consumption in males exposed to MS and EE; namely taste aversive conditioning and hypnotic-sedative consequences of ethanol. We also measured anxiety response in the light-dark box and in the elevated plus maze tests; and exploratory patterns of novel stimuli and behaviors indicative of risk assessment and risk-taking, via a modified version of the concentric square field (CSF) test. Aversive conditioning, hypnosis and sleep time were similar in males exposed or not to EE. EE males, however, exhibited heightened exploration of novel stimuli and greater risk taking behaviors in the CSF test. It is likely that the promoting effect of EE upon ethanol intake was due to these effects upon exploratory and risk-taking behaviors. PMID:27790100

  10. Prenatal and Early Postnatal Environmental Enrichment Reduce Acute Cell Death and Prevent Neurodevelopment and Memory Impairments in Rats Submitted to Neonatal Hypoxia Ischemia.

    PubMed

    Durán-Carabali, L E; Arcego, D M; Odorcyk, F K; Reichert, L; Cordeiro, J L; Sanches, E F; Freitas, L D; Dalmaz, C; Pagnussat, A; Netto, C A

    2018-05-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is an experimental strategy to attenuate the negative effects of different neurological conditions including neonatal hypoxia ischemia encephalopathy (HIE). The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of prenatal and early postnatal EE in animals submitted to neonatal HIE model at postnatal day (PND) 3. Wistar rats were housed in EE or standard conditions (SC) during pregnancy and lactation periods. Pups of both sexes were assigned to one of four experimental groups, considering the early environmental conditions and the injury: SC-Sham, SC-HIE, EE-sham, and EE-HIE. The offspring were euthanized at two different time points: 48 h after HIE for biochemical analyses or at PND 67 for histological analyses. Behavioral tests were performed at PND 7, 14, 21, and 60. Offspring from EE mothers had better performance in neurodevelopmental and spatial memory tests when compared to the SC groups. HIE animals showed a reduction of IGF-1 and VEGF in the parietal cortex, but no differences in BDNF and TrkB levels were found. EE-HIE animals showed reduction in cell death, lower astrocyte reactivity, and an increase in AKTp levels in the hippocampus and parietal cortex. In addition, the EE was also able to prevent the hippocampus tissue loss. Altogether, present findings point to the protective potential of the prenatal and early postnatal EE in attenuating molecular and histological damage, as well as the neurodevelopmental impairments and the cognitive deficit, caused by HIE insult at PND 3.

  11. Environmental enrichment for aquatic animals.

    PubMed

    Corcoran, Mike

    2015-05-01

    Aquatic animals are the most popular pets in the United States based on the number of owned pets. They are popular display animals and are increasingly used in research settings. Enrichment of captive animals is an important element of zoo and laboratory medicine. The importance of enrichment for aquatic animals has been slower in implementation. For a long time, there was debate over whether or not fish were able to experience pain or form long-term memories. As that debate has reduced and the consciousness of more aquatic animals is accepted, the need to discuss enrichment for these animals has increased. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Inoculation Stress Hypothesis of Environmental Enrichment

    PubMed Central

    Crofton, Elizabeth J.; Zhang, Yafang; Green, Thomas A.

    2014-01-01

    One hallmark of psychiatric conditions is the vast continuum of individual differences in susceptibility vs. resilience resulting from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. The environmental enrichment paradigm is an animal model that is useful for studying a range of psychiatric conditions, including protective phenotypes in addiction and depression models. The major question is how environmental enrichment, a non-drug and non-surgical manipulation, can produce such robust individual differences in such a wide range of behaviors. This paper draws from a variety of published sources to outline a coherent hypothesis of inoculation stress as a factor producing the protective enrichment phenotypes. The basic tenet suggests that chronic mild stress from living in a complex environment and interacting non-aggressively with conspecifics can inoculate enriched rats against subsequent stressors and/or drugs of abuse. This paper reviews the enrichment phenotypes, mulls the fundamental nature of environmental enrichment vs. isolation, discusses the most appropriate control for environmental enrichment, and challenges the idea that cortisol/corticosterone equals stress. The intent of the inoculation stress hypothesis of environmental enrichment is to provide a scaffold with which to build testable hypotheses for the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying these protective phenotypes and thus provide new therapeutic targets to treat psychiatric/neurological conditions. PMID:25449533

  13. Inoculation stress hypothesis of environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Crofton, Elizabeth J; Zhang, Yafang; Green, Thomas A

    2015-02-01

    One hallmark of psychiatric conditions is the vast continuum of individual differences in susceptibility vs. resilience resulting from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. The environmental enrichment paradigm is an animal model that is useful for studying a range of psychiatric conditions, including protective phenotypes in addiction and depression models. The major question is how environmental enrichment, a non-drug and non-surgical manipulation, can produce such robust individual differences in such a wide range of behaviors. This paper draws from a variety of published sources to outline a coherent hypothesis of inoculation stress as a factor producing the protective enrichment phenotypes. The basic tenet suggests that chronic mild stress from living in a complex environment and interacting non-aggressively with conspecifics can inoculate enriched rats against subsequent stressors and/or drugs of abuse. This paper reviews the enrichment phenotypes, mulls the fundamental nature of environmental enrichment vs. isolation, discusses the most appropriate control for environmental enrichment, and challenges the idea that cortisol/corticosterone equals stress. The intent of the inoculation stress hypothesis of environmental enrichment is to provide a scaffold with which to build testable hypotheses for the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying these protective phenotypes and thus provide new therapeutic targets to treat psychiatric/neurological conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Review of environmental enrichment for broiler chickens.

    PubMed

    Riber, A B; van de Weerd, H A; de Jong, I C; Steenfeldt, S

    2018-02-01

    Welfare problems are commonly found in both conventional and organic production of broiler chickens. In order to reduce the extent of welfare problems, it has been suggested to provide stimulating, enriched environments. The aim of the present paper is to provide a review of the effect on behavior and welfare of the different kinds of environmental enrichments in the production of broilers that have been described in the scientific literature. Environmental enrichment is defined as an improvement of the environment of captive animals, which increases the behavioral opportunities of the animal and leads to improvements of the biological function. This definition has been broadened to include practical and economic aspects, as any enrichment strategy that adversely affects the health of animals or that has too many economic or practical constraints will never be implemented on commercial farms and thus never benefit animals. Environmental enrichment for broilers often has the purpose of satisfying behavioral needs and/or stimulating the broilers to an increased level of activity, which among others will reduce the occurrence of leg problems. Potentially successful environmental enrichments for broiler chickens are elevated resting-places, panels, barriers, and bales of straw ("point-source enrichment"), as well as covered verandas and outdoor ranges ("complex enriched environments"). Many of the ideas for environmental enrichment for broilers need to be further developed and studied, preferably in commercial trials, with respect to the use, the effect on behavior and on other welfare aspects such as leg health, and the interaction with genotype, production system, stocking density, light, and flock size. In addition, information on the practical application and the economics of the production system is often lacking, although it is important for application in practice. © 2017 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  15. Environmental enrichment choices of shelter cats.

    PubMed

    Ellis, J J; Stryhn, H; Spears, J; Cockram, M S

    2017-08-01

    Choices made by cats between different types of environmental enrichment may help shelters to prioritize how to most effectively enrich cat housing, especially when limited by space or funds. This study investigates the environmental enrichment use of cats in a choice test. Twenty-six shelter cats were kept singularly in choice chambers for 10days. Each chamber had a central area and four centrally-linked compartments containing different types of environmental enrichment: 1) an empty control, 2) a prey-simulating toy, 3) a perching opportunity, and 4) a hiding opportunity. Cat movement between compartments was quantitatively recorded using a data-logger. Enriched compartments were visited significantly more frequently during the light period than during the dark period. Cats spent a significantly greater percentage of time in the hiding compartment (median=55%, IQR=46) than in the toy compartment (median=2%, IQR=9), or in the empty control compartment (median=4%, IQR=4). These results provide additional evidence to support the value of a hiding box to cats housed in a novel environment, in that they choose hiding relative to other types of environmental enrichment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. The Effects of Early Language Enrichment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fowler, William; Ogston, Karen; Roberts, Gloria; Swenson, Amy

    2006-01-01

    Over two decades, six studies evaluated the effects of a home-based early language program on the development of 101 infants. Parents engaged in enrichment activities with their infants over a one-year period that began when the infants were between three and 13 months of age. Participants from families with varied levels of education were…

  17. Toward a predictive theory for environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Watters, Jason V

    2009-11-01

    There have been many applications of and successes with environmental enrichment for captive animals. The theoretical spine upon which much enrichment work hangs largely describes why enrichment should work. Yet, there remains no clear understanding of how enrichment should be applied to achieve the most beneficial results. This lack of understanding may stem in part from the assumptions that underlie the application of enrichment by practitioners. These assumptions are derived from an understanding that giving animals choice and control in their environment stimulates their motivation to perform behaviors that may indicate a heightened state of well-being. Learning theory provides a means to question the manner in which these constructs are routinely applied, and converting learning theory's findings to optimality predictions suggests a particularly vexing paradox-that motivation to perform appears to be maintained best when acquiring a payoff for expressing the behavior is uncertain. This effect occurs even when the actual value of the payoff is the same for all schedules of certainty of payoff acquisition. The paradox can be resolved by invoking rewards of an alternative type, such as cognitive rewards, or through an understanding of how the average payoff changes with changes in the probability of reward. This model, with measures of the average change of the payoff, suggests testable scenarios by which practitioners can measure the quality of environmental uncertainty in enrichment programs.

  18. Mercury enrichment indicates volcanic triggering of Valanginian environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charbonnier, Guillaume; Morales, Chloé; Duchamp-Alphonse, Stéphanie; Westermann, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Föllmi, Karl B.

    2017-01-01

    The Valanginian stage (Early Cretaceous) includes an episode of significant environmental changes, which are well defined by a positive δ13C excursion. This globally recorded excursion indicates important perturbations in the carbon cycle, which has tentatively been associated with a pulse in volcanic activity and the formation of the Paraná-Etendeka large igneous province (LIP). Uncertainties in existing age models preclude, however, its positive identification as a trigger of Valanginian environmental changes. Here we report that in Valanginian sediments recovered from a drill core in Wąwał (Polish Basin, Poland), and from outcrops in the Breggia Gorge (Lombardian Basin, southern Switzerland), and Orpierre and Angles (Vocontian Basin, SE France), intervals at or near the onset of the positive δ13C excursion are significantly enriched in mercury (Hg). The persistence of the Hg anomaly in Hg/TOC, Hg/phyllosilicate, and Hg/Fe ratios shows that organic-matter scavenging and/or adsorbtion onto clay minerals or hydrous iron oxides only played a limited role. Volcanic outgassing was most probably the primary source of the Hg enrichments, which demonstrate that an important magmatic pulse triggered the Valanginian environmental perturbations.

  19. Mercury enrichment indicates volcanic triggering of Valanginian environmental change

    PubMed Central

    Charbonnier, Guillaume; Morales, Chloé; Duchamp-Alphonse, Stéphanie; Westermann, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Föllmi, Karl B.

    2017-01-01

    The Valanginian stage (Early Cretaceous) includes an episode of significant environmental changes, which are well defined by a positive δ13C excursion. This globally recorded excursion indicates important perturbations in the carbon cycle, which has tentatively been associated with a pulse in volcanic activity and the formation of the Paraná-Etendeka large igneous province (LIP). Uncertainties in existing age models preclude, however, its positive identification as a trigger of Valanginian environmental changes. Here we report that in Valanginian sediments recovered from a drill core in Wąwał (Polish Basin, Poland), and from outcrops in the Breggia Gorge (Lombardian Basin, southern Switzerland), and Orpierre and Angles (Vocontian Basin, SE France), intervals at or near the onset of the positive δ13C excursion are significantly enriched in mercury (Hg). The persistence of the Hg anomaly in Hg/TOC, Hg/phyllosilicate, and Hg/Fe ratios shows that organic-matter scavenging and/or adsorbtion onto clay minerals or hydrous iron oxides only played a limited role. Volcanic outgassing was most probably the primary source of the Hg enrichments, which demonstrate that an important magmatic pulse triggered the Valanginian environmental perturbations. PMID:28106091

  20. Environmental Enrichment for Broiler Breeders: An Undeveloped Field.

    PubMed

    Riber, Anja B; de Jong, Ingrid C; van de Weerd, Heleen A; Steenfeldt, Sanna

    2017-01-01

    Welfare problems, such as hunger, frustration, aggression, and abnormal sexual behavior, are commonly found in broiler breeder production. To prevent or reduce these welfare problems, it has been suggested to provide stimulating enriched environments. We review the effect of the different types of environmental enrichment for broiler breeders, which have been described in the scientific literature, on behavior and welfare. Environmental enrichment is defined as an improvement of the environment of captive animals, which increases the behavioral opportunities of the animal and leads to improvements in biological function. This definition has been broadened to include practical and economic aspects as any enrichment strategy that adversely affects the health of animals (e.g., environmental hygiene), or that has too many economic or practical constraints will never be implemented on commercial farms and thus never benefit animals. Environmental enrichment for broiler breeders often has the purpose of satisfying the behavioral motivations for feeding and foraging, resting, and/or encouraging normal sexual behavior. Potentially successful enrichments for broiler breeders are elevated resting places, cover panels, and substrate (for broiler breeders housed in cage systems). However, most of the ideas for environmental enrichment for broiler breeders need to be further developed and studied with respect to the use, the effect on behavior and welfare, and the interaction with genotype and production system. In addition, information on practical use and the economics of the production system is often lacking although it is important for application in practice.

  1. Environmental enrichment imparts disease-modifying and transgenerational effects on genetically-determined epilepsy and anxiety.

    PubMed

    Dezsi, Gabi; Ozturk, Ezgi; Salzberg, Michael R; Morris, Margaret; O'Brien, Terence J; Jones, Nigel C

    2016-09-01

    The absence epilepsies are presumed to be caused by genetic factors, but the influence of environmental exposures on epilepsy development and severity, and whether this influence is transmitted to subsequent generations, is not well known. We assessed the effects of environmental enrichment on epilepsy and anxiety outcomes in multiple generations of GAERS - a genetic rat model of absence epilepsy that manifests comorbid elevated anxiety-like behaviour. GAERS were exposed to environmental enrichment or standard housing beginning either prior to, or after epilepsy onset, and underwent EEG recordings and anxiety testing. Then, we exposed male GAERS to early enrichment or standard housing and generated F1 progeny, which also underwent EEG recordings. Hippocampal CRH mRNA expression and DNA methylation were assessed using RT-PCR and pyrosequencing, respectively. Early environmental enrichment delayed the onset of epilepsy in GAERS, and resulted in fewer seizures in adulthood, compared with standard housed GAERS. Enrichment also reduced the frequency of seizures when initiated in adulthood. Anxiety levels were reduced by enrichment, and these anti-epileptogenic and anxiolytic effects were heritable into the next generation. We also found reduced expression of CRH mRNA in GAERS exposed to enrichment, but this was not due to changes in DNA methylation. Environmental enrichment produces disease-modifying effects on genetically determined absence epilepsy and anxiety, and these beneficial effects are transferable to the subsequent generation. Reduced CRH expression was associated with these phenotypic improvements. Environmental stimulation holds promise as a naturalistic therapy for genetically determined epilepsy which may benefit subsequent generations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Small exotic companion mammal wellness management and environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Pilny, Anthony A

    2015-05-01

    Wellness management and environmental enrichment are important components of preventative veterinary medical care. Small exotic mammals represent a diverse group of pets with widely varying types of care, diet, and husbandry considerations; thus, environmental enrichment must go beyond the cage or tank design in order to provide proper mental fitness in meeting any pet's psychological needs. Addressing the pet's environmental, dietary, exercise, and social needs is vital to keeping these animals healthier and more disease resistant. The key to accomplishing this is largely impacted by the annual or biannual veterinary wellness visit and a commitment from the pet's owner. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Environmental enrichment reverses memory impairment induced by toluene in mice.

    PubMed

    Montes, Sergio; Solís-Guillén, Rocío Del Carmen; García-Jácome, David; Páez-Martínez, Nayeli

    2017-05-01

    Toluene is the main component of a variety of inhalants that are used for intoxication purposes. Alterations in memory have been reported in inhalant users; however, it is unclear whether these impairments could be reversed, and the mechanisms involved in the putative recovery. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to model the deleterious effects of toluene on memory in mice and to evaluate the effect of environmental enrichment on that response. In the second part of the study, the concentrations of glutamate and GABA, following chronic toluene exposure and after environmental enrichment treatment, were evaluated. Adolescent mice were exposed to either a single or repeated schedule of toluene administration and their responses to object recognition were analyzed. An independent group of mice was repeatedly exposed to toluene and then housed either under environmental enrichment or standard conditions for four weeks. At the end of the housing period, the rodents' performance in object recognition test, as well as the concentrations of neurotransmitters, were analyzed. The results showed that toluene caused memory impairment in mice that received a single or repeated solvent exposure. Remarkably, environmental enrichment could reverse memory deficits induced by repeated administration of toluene. Cessation of toluene exposure in mice in standard housing did not produce that response. The glutamate and GABA tissue contents were not involved in the effects of toluene or environmental enrichment of memory. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Environmental enrichment attenuates behavioral abnormalities in valproic acid-exposed autism model mice.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Hiroshi; Hara, Yuta; Ago, Yukio; Takano, Erika; Hasebe, Shigeru; Nakazawa, Takanobu; Hashimoto, Hitoshi; Matsuda, Toshio; Takuma, Kazuhiro

    2017-08-30

    We recently demonstrated that prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA) at embryonic day 12.5 causes autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-like phenotypes such as hypolocomotion, anxiety-like behavior, social deficits and cognitive impairment in mice and that it decreases dendritic spine density in the hippocampal CA1 region. Previous studies show that some abnormal behaviors are improved by environmental enrichment in ASD rodent models, but it is not known whether environmental enrichment improves cognitive impairment. In the present study, we examined the effects of early environmental enrichment on behavioral abnormalities and neuromorphological changes in prenatal VPA-treated mice. We also examined the role of dendritic spine formation and synaptic protein expression in the hippocampus. Mice were housed for 4 weeks from 4 weeks of age under either a standard or enriched environment. Enriched housing was found to increase hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA levels in both control and VPA-exposed mice. Furthermore, in VPA-treated mice, the environmental enrichment improved anxiety-like behavior, social deficits and cognitive impairment, but not hypolocomotion. Prenatal VPA treatment caused loss of dendritic spines in the hippocampal CA1 region and decreases in mRNA levels of postsynaptic density protein-95 and SH3 and multiple ankyrin repeat domains 2 in the hippocampus. These hippocampal changes were improved by the enriched housing. These findings suggest that the environmental enrichment improved most ASD-like behaviors including cognitive impairment in the VPA-treated mice by enhancing dendritic spine function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Environmental Enrichment Mitigates Deficits after Repetitive Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xixia; Qiu, Jianhua; Alcon, Sasha; Hashim, Jumana; Meehan, William P; Mannix, Rebekah

    2017-08-15

    Although environmental enrichment has been shown to improve functional and histologic outcomes in pre-clinical moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), there are a paucity of pre-clinical data regarding enrichment strategies in the setting of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (rmTBI). Given the vast numbers of athletes and those in the military who sustain rmTBI, the mounting evidence of the long-term and progressive sequelae of rmTBI, and the lack of targeted therapies to mitigate these sequelae, successful enrichment interventions in rmTBI could have large public health significance. Here, we evaluated enrichment strategies in an established pre-clinical rmTBI model. Seventy-one male C57BL/6 mice were randomized to two different housing conditions, environmental enrichment (EE) or normal condition (NC), then subjected to rmTBI injury (seven injuries in 9 days) or sham injury (anesthesia only). Functional outcomes in all four groups (NC-TBI, EE-TBI, NC-sham, and EE-sham) were assessed by motor, exploratory/anxiety, and mnemonic behavioral tests. At the synaptic level, N-methyl d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunit expression of phosphorylated glutamate receptor 1 (GluR1), phosphorylated Ca 2+ /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), and calpain were evaluated by western blot. Compared to injured NC-TBI mice, EE-TBI mice had improved memory and decreased anxiety and exploratory activity post-injury. Treatment with enrichment also corresponded to normal NMDAR subunit expression, decreased GluR1 phosphorylation, decreased phosphorylated CaMKII, and normal calpain expression post-rmTBI. These data suggest that enrichment strategies may improve functional outcomes and mitigate synaptic changes post-rmTBI. Given that enrichment strategies are feasible in the clinical setting, particularly for athletes and soldiers for whom the risk of repetitive injury is greatest, these data suggest that clinical trials may be warranted.

  6. Paternal environmental enrichment transgenerationally alters affective behavioral and neuroendocrine phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Yeshurun, Shlomo; Short, Annabel K; Bredy, Timothy W; Pang, Terence Y; Hannan, Anthony J

    2017-03-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that paternal stress in rodents can result in modification of offspring behavior. Environmental enrichment, which enhances cognitive stimulation and physical activity, modifies various behaviors and reduces stress responses in adult rodents. We investigated the transgenerational influence of paternal environmental enrichment on offspring behavior and physiological stress response. Adult C57BL/6J male mice (F0) were exposed to either environmental enrichment or standard housing for four weeks and then pair-mated with naïve females. The F2 generation was generated using F1 male offspring. Male and female F1 and F2 offspring were tested for anxiety using the elevated-plus maze and large open field at 8 weeks of age. Depression-related behavior was assessed using the forced-swim test. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function was determined by quantification of serum corticosterone and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels at baseline and after forced-swim stress. Paternal environmental enrichment was associated with increased body weights of male F1 and F2 offspring. There was no significant effect on F1 offspring anxiety and depression-related behaviors. There were no changes in anxiety-related behaviors in the F2 offspring, however these mice displayed a reduced latency to immobility in the forced-swim test. Furthermore, F2 females had significantly higher serum corticosterone levels post-stress, but not ACTH. These results show that paternal environmental enrichment exerts a sex-specific transgenerational impact on the behavioral and physiological response to stress. Our findings have implications for the modelling of psychiatric disorders in rodents. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Maternal presence and environmental enrichment affect food neophobia of piglets

    PubMed Central

    Oostindjer, Marije; Muñoz, Julia Mas; Van den Brand, Henry; Kemp, Bas; Bolhuis, J. Elizabeth

    2011-01-01

    Young omnivores show food neophobia in order to avoid the potential harmful effects of ingesting unfamiliar food items. We investigated whether the presence of the mother and an enriched rearing environment would reduce food neophobia in piglets. A mother may provide information on suitable food types to include in the diet, whereas an enriched environment may stimulate behavioural development and reduce reactivity towards novel stimuli (including food). Five barren-reared or enriched-reared piglets per litter were exposed to two novel food items in the presence, and the other five per litter in the absence, of the mother in a 7 min test. Maternal presence reduced food neophobia profoundly as reflected in a reduced latency to touching the food, a higher proportion of piglets sampling the two different food items and a higher intake. Latency to touch the food, however, was affected by maternal presence more strongly for barren-reared piglets than for enriched-reared piglets, and in the absence of the sow, consumption of one novel food type and time spent in the feeding area were higher for enriched-reared piglets. Environmental enrichment does have the potential to reduce food neophobia, but the presence of the mother during the encounter with novel food seems more efficient in decreasing food neophobia of piglets. PMID:20554557

  8. Enriching early adult environment affects the copulation behaviour of a tephritid fly.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Fleischer, Francisco; Arredondo, José; Aluja, Martín

    2009-07-01

    Early adult experiences in enriched environments favours animal brain and behavioural development ultimately resulting in an increased fitness. However, measuring the effect of environmental enrichment in animal behaviour in nature is often a complicated task, considering the complexity of the natural environment. We expanded previous studies to evaluate how early experience in an enriched environment affects copulation behaviour when animals are confronted with a complex semi-natural environment. Anastrepha ludens flies are an ideal model system for studying these effects because their natural habitats differ significantly from the cage environments in which these flies are reared for biological control purposes. For example, in the field, males form leks of up to six individuals. Each male defends a territory represented by a tree leaf whereas in rearing cages, territories are completely reduced because of the high population density. In a series of three experiments, we observed that male density represented the most influential stimulus for A. ludens male copulation success. Males that experienced lower densities in early adulthood obtained the highest proportion of copulations. By contrast, female copulation behaviour was not altered by female density. However, exposure to natural or artificial leaves in cages in which flies were kept until tested influenced female copulation behaviour. Females that were exposed to enriched environments exhibited a shorter latency to mate and shorter copulation durations with males than females reared in poor environments. We discuss the influence of early experience on male copulation success and female-mating choosiness.

  9. Transgenerational effects of environmental enrichment on repetitive motor behavior development.

    PubMed

    Bechard, Allison R; Lewis, Mark H

    2016-07-01

    The favorable consequences of environmental enrichment (EE) on brain and behavior development are well documented. Much less is known, however, about transgenerational benefits of EE on non-enriched offspring. We explored whether transgenerational effects of EE might extend to the development of repetitive motor behaviors in deer mice. Repetitive motor behaviors are invariant patterns of movement that, across species, can be reduced by EE. We found that EE not only attenuated the development of repetitive behavior in dams, but also in their non-enriched offspring. Moreover, maternal behavior did not seem to mediate the transgenerational effect we found, although repetitive behavior was affected by reproductive experience. These data support a beneficial transgenerational effect of EE on repetitive behavior development and suggest a novel benefit of reproductive experience. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Environmental enrichment delays pup-induced maternal behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Mann, Phyllis E; Gervais, Kristen J

    2011-05-01

    Adult, virgin rats do not spontaneously display maternal behavior when exposed to foster pups. However, continuous daily exposure of the female to foster pups for about 5-7 days can induce a set of maternal behaviors similar to those shown by postpartum dams. Induction latencies depend upon a number of factors, including the stress and anxiety levels of the female. The goal of this study was to attempt to mitigate the likely stressfulness of being singly housed during testing by enriching the rat's home cage environment and to determine if the concomitant environmental change would alter the latency to express maternal behavior. In addition, the effect of varying the number of test pups used for testing was examined. Two groups of virgin Sprague-Dawley rats were first tested on the elevated plus maze after 1 week of exposure to either control (standard housing) or enriched conditions. One week later, maternal behavior testing began using one or three pups. Upon completion of maternal behavior testing, plasma corticosterone concentrations were determined following a mild stressor. The data indicate that enrichment tends to increase anxiety-like behaviors in the elevated plus maze. In addition, enrichment delayed the onset of maternal behavior irrespective of the number of test pups. There were no effects of environmental enrichment on plasma corticosterone levels following exposure to a stressor. These results indicate that what is considered a modestly enriched environment delays the expression of pup-oriented responses and does not apparently reduce stress or improve performance on all behavioral tasks. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Environmental enrichment as a potential intervention for heroin seeking.

    PubMed

    Galaj, E; Manuszak, M; Ranaldi, R

    2016-06-01

    Heroin-related cues can trigger craving and relapse in addicts or heroin seeking in rats. In the present study we investigated whether environmental enrichment (EE) implemented after heroin exposure can reduce cue-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking and expression of heroin conditioned place preference. In Experiment 1, male Long Evans rats that already acquired a heroin self-administration habit, were housed in enriched or non-enriched environments, underwent extinction training and later were tested for cue-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking. In Experiment 2, rats were conditioned with heroin in one compartment of a CPP apparatus and saline in the other, exposed to 30days of enrichment or no enrichment and were later tested for heroin CPP. The results showed that exposure to EE significantly reduced responding during the reinstatement test (Experiment 1) and prevented the expression of heroin CPP (Experiment 2). Our findings suggest that EE can be an effective behavioral approach to diminish the effects of conditioned cues on heroin seeking. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Environmental Enrichment Therapy for Autism: Outcomes with Increased Access

    PubMed Central

    Aronoff, Eyal

    2016-01-01

    We have previously shown in two randomized clinical trials that environmental enrichment is capable of ameliorating symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and in the present study, we determined whether this therapy could be effective under real-world circumstances. 1,002 children were given daily Sensory Enrichment Therapy, by their parents, using personalized therapy instructions given over the Internet. Parents were asked to assess the symptoms of their child every 2 weeks for up to 7 months. An intention-to-treat analysis showed significant overall gains for a wide range of symptoms in these children, including learning, memory, anxiety, attention span, motor skills, eating, sleeping, sensory processing, self-awareness, communication, social skills, and mood/autism behaviors. The children of compliant caregivers were more likely to experience a significant improvement in their symptoms. The treatment was effective across a wide age range and there was equal progress reported for males and females, for USA and international subjects, for those who paid and those who did not pay for the therapy, and for individuals at all levels of initial symptom severity. Environmental enrichment, delivered via an online system, therefore appears to be an effective, low-cost means of treating the symptoms of ASD. PMID:27721995

  13. Sex differences after environmental enrichment and physical exercise in rats when solving a navigation task.

    PubMed

    Chamizo, V D; Rodríguez, C A; Sánchez, J; Mármol, F

    2016-09-01

    The effects of early environmental enrichment (EE) and voluntary wheel running on the preference for using a landmark or pool geometry when solving a simple spatial task in adult male and female rats were assessed. After weaning, rats were housed in same-sex pairs in enriched or standard cages (EE and control groups) for two and a half months. Then the rats were trained in a triangular-shaped pool to find a hidden platform whose location was defined in terms of these two sources of information, a landmark outside the pool and a particular corner of the pool. As expected, enriched rats reached the platform faster than control animals, and males and females did not differ. Enriched rats also performed better on subsequent test trials without the platform with the cues individually presented (either pool geometry or landmark). However, on a preference test without the platform, a clear sex difference was found: Females spent more time in an area of the pool that corresponded to the landmark, whereas males spent more time in the distinctive corner of the pool. The present EE protocol did not alter females' preference for the landmark cue. The results agree with the claim that environmental enrichment is a consequence of a reduced anxiety response (measured by thigmotaxis) during cognitive testing. A possible implication of ancestral selection pressures is discussed.

  14. Environmental enrichment for a mixed-species nocturnal mammal exhibit.

    PubMed

    Clark, Fay E; Melfi, Vicky A

    2012-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is an integral aspect of modern zoo animal management but, empirical evaluation of it is biased toward species housed in single-species groups. Nocturnal houses, where several nocturnal species are housed together, are particularly overlooked. This study investigated whether three species (nine-banded armadillos, Dasypus novemcinctus; Senegal bush babies, Galago senegalensis; two-toed sloths, Choloepus didactylus) in the nocturnal house at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, UK could be enriched using food-based and sensory EE. Subjects were an adult male and female of each species. EE was deemed effective if it promoted target species-typical behaviors, behavioral diversity, and increased use of enriched exhibit zones. Results from generalized linear mixed models demonstrated that food-based EE elicited the most positive behavioral effects across species. One set of food-based EEs (Kong®, termite mound and hanging food) presented together was associated with a significant increase in species-typical behaviors, increased behavioral diversity, and increased use of enriched exhibit zones in armadillos and bush babies. Although one type of sensory EE (scented pine cones) increased overall exhibit use in all species, the other (rainforest sounds) was linked to a significant decrease in species-typical behavior in bush babies and sloths. There were no intra or interspecies conflicts over EE, and commensalism occurred between armadillos and bush babies. Our data demonstrate that simple food-based and sensory EE can promote positive behavioral changes in a mixed-species nocturnal mammal exhibit. We suggest that both food and sensory EE presented concurrently will maximize opportunities for naturalistic activity in all species. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Prenatal immune activation in mice blocks the effects of environmental enrichment on exploratory behavior and microglia density.

    PubMed

    Buschert, Jens; Sakalem, Marna E; Saffari, Roja; Hohoff, Christa; Rothermundt, Matthias; Arolt, Volker; Zhang, Weiqi; Ambrée, Oliver

    2016-06-03

    Adverse environmental factors including prenatal maternal infection are capable of inducing long-lasting behavioral and neural alterations which can enhance the risk to develop schizophrenia. It is so far not clear whether supportive postnatal environments are able to modify such prenatally-induced alterations. In rodent models, environmental enrichment influences behavior and cognition, for instance by affecting endocrinologic, immunologic, and neuroplastic parameters. The current study was designed to elucidate the influence of postnatal environmental enrichment on schizophrenia-like behavioral alterations induced by prenatal polyI:C immune stimulation at gestational day 9 in mice. Adult offspring were tested for amphetamine-induced locomotion, social interaction, and problem-solving behavior as well as expression of dopamine D1 and D2 receptors and associated molecules, microglia density and adult neurogenesis. Prenatal polyI:C treatment resulted in increased dopamine sensitivity and dopamine D2 receptor expression in adult offspring which was not reversed by environmental enrichment. Prenatal immune activation prevented the effects of environmental enrichment which increased exploratory behavior and microglia density in NaCl treated mice. Problem-solving behavior as well as the number of immature neurons was affected by neither prenatal immune stimulation nor postnatal environmental enrichment. The behavioral and neural alterations that persist into adulthood could not generally be modified by environmental enrichment. This might be due to early neurodevelopmental disturbances which could not be rescued or compensated for at a later developmental stage. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Effects of environmental enrichment on the incubation of cocaine craving

    PubMed Central

    Chauvet, Claudia; Goldberg, Steven R.; Jaber, Mohamed; Solinas, Marcello

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that exposure to environmental enrichment (EE) during withdrawal periods reduces the risks of relapse to drug-seeking behavior. In this study, we investigated whether EE could prevent the development of time-dependent increases in cocaine-seeking behavior (incubation of craving). In addition, we investigated whether EE could eliminate already developed incubation and whether the effects of EE would last when enrichment is discontinued. For this, we allowed rats to self-administer cocaine for 10 daily 6h sessions and measured cocaine seeking 1, 30 and 60 days after the last self-administration session. In between these tests, rats were kept in forced abstinence and housed either in EE or standard environments (SE). Between day 30 and 60 of withdrawal, half of the rats in each group were maintained in their original environmental condition and the other half was switched to the other environmental condition. We found that exposure to EE prevents development of incubation of cocaine craving and eliminates already developed incubation. In addition, contrary to our expectations, when EE was discontinued, its positive effects on incubation of craving disappeared. These results indicate that EE can reduce cocaine seeking but only temporarily and questions the hypothesis that EE can permanently eliminate the neural consequences of exposure to drugs of abuse. Therefore, stimulating environments could have positive effects on the treatment of cocaine addiction only if they are maintained for long periods of abstinence that encompass the time-frame during which addicts are most vulnerable to relapse. PMID:22634364

  17. Influence of environmental enrichment on the behavior and physiology of mice infected by Trypanosoma cruzi.

    PubMed

    Silva, Déborah Maria Moreira da; Pinheiro, Laila; Azevedo, Cristiano Schetini; Costa, Guilherme de Paula; Talvani, André

    2017-01-01

    Enriched environments normally increase behavioral repertoires and diminish the expression of abnormal behaviors and stress-related physiological problems in animals. Although it has been shown that experimental animals infected with microorganisms can modify their behaviors and physiology, few studies have evaluated how environmental enrichment affects these parameters. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of environmental enrichment on the behavior and physiology of confined mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. The behaviors of 20 T. cruzi-infected mice and 20 non-infected mice were recorded during three treatments: baseline, enrichment, and post-enrichment. Behavioral data were collected using scan sampling with instantaneous recording of behavior every 30s, totaling 360h. Plasma TNF, CCL2, and IL-10 levels and parasitemia were also evaluated in infected enriched/non-enriched mice. Behavioral data were evaluated by Friedman's test and physiological data by one-way ANOVA and area under the curve (AUC) analysis. Results showed that environmental enrichment significantly increased exploratory behaviors and diminished inactivity. The use of environmental enrichment did not diminish circulating levels of TNF and IL-10 but diminished circulating levels of CCL2 and parasitemia. Positive behavioral and physiological effects of environmental enrichment were observed in mice living in enriched cages. Thus, environmental enrichment improved the welfare of these animals.

  18. Environmental Enrichment Rescues Binocular Matching of Orientation Preference in Mice that Have a Precocious Critical Period

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bor-Shuen; Feng, Liang; Liu, Mingna; Liu, Xiaorong; Cang, Jianhua

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Experience shapes neural circuits during critical periods in early life. The timing of critical periods is regulated by both genetics and the environment. Here we study the functional significance of such temporal regulations in the mouse primary visual cortex, where critical period plasticity drives binocular matching of orientation preference. We find that the binocular matching is permanently disrupted in mice that have a precocious critical period due to genetically enhanced inhibition. The disruption is specific to one type of neurons, the complex cells, which, as we reveal, normally match after the simple cells. Early environmental enrichment completely rescues the deficit by inducing histone acetylation and consequently advancing the matching process to coincide with the precocious plasticity. Our experiments thus demonstrate that the proper timing of the critical period is essential for establishing normal binocularity and the detrimental impact of its genetic misregulation can be ameliorated by environmental manipulations via epigenetic mechanisms. PMID:24012279

  19. Environmental enrichment reduces the impact of novelty and motivational properties of ethanol in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, Cristiane Ribeiro; Pandolfo, Pablo; Pamplona, Fabrício Alano; Takahashi, Reinaldo Naoto

    2010-03-17

    The present study investigated the consequences of environmental enrichment on the impact of novelty and motivational properties of ethanol in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), a validated model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This rat strain displays increased sensitivity to distinct classes of abused drugs, which makes it an interesting model for the study of the association between ADHD and drug abuse. Female SHR reared from weaning to adulthood in standard (SE) or enriched (EE) environment were tested on novelty-induced locomotion, saccharin consumption, ethanol consumption (forced and free-choice schedules) and ethanol-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). SHR reared in an EE showed reduced novelty-induced locomotion, consumed less saccharin and ethanol in a forced schedule and showed less ethanol preference in a free-choice schedule compared to SE rats. Moreover, EE rats did not develop CPP, whereas SE rats developed preference for ethanol (1.2g/kg). These results show that exposure to stimuli mimicking positive life experiences (environmental enrichment) induces persistent changes in the reward/motivational system of female SHR, suggesting an important role of the familiar environment during early stages of the neurodevelopment on the co-morbidity of ADHD and drug abuse. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Environmental enrichment reduces signs of boredom in caged mink.

    PubMed

    Meagher, Rebecca K; Mason, Georgia J

    2012-01-01

    be operationalized and assessed empirically in non-human animals. It can also be reduced by environmental enrichment.

  1. Environmental Enrichment Reduces Signs of Boredom in Caged Mink

    PubMed Central

    Meagher, Rebecca K.; Mason, Georgia J.

    2012-01-01

    ). Boredom can thus be operationalized and assessed empirically in non-human animals. It can also be reduced by environmental enrichment. PMID:23155462

  2. Environmental enrichment normalizes hippocampal timing coding in a malformed hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Hernan, Amanda E; Mahoney, J Matthew; Curry, Willie; Richard, Greg; Lucas, Marcella M; Massey, Andrew; Holmes, Gregory L; Scott, Rod C

    2018-01-01

    Neurodevelopmental insults leading to malformations of cortical development (MCD) are a common cause of psychiatric disorders, learning impairments and epilepsy. In the methylazoxymethanol (MAM) model of MCDs, animals have impairments in spatial cognition that, remarkably, are improved by post-weaning environmental enrichment (EE). To establish how EE impacts network-level mechanisms of spatial cognition, hippocampal in vivo single unit recordings were performed in freely moving animals in an open arena. We took a generalized linear modeling approach to extract fine spike timing (FST) characteristics and related these to place cell fidelity used as a surrogate of spatial cognition. We find that MAM disrupts FST and place-modulated rate coding in hippocampal CA1 and that EE improves many FST parameters towards normal. Moreover, FST parameters predict spatial coherence of neurons, suggesting that mechanisms determining altered FST are responsible for impaired cognition in MCDs. This suggests that FST parameters could represent a therapeutic target to improve cognition even in the context of a brain that develops with a structural abnormality.

  3. Tip60 HAT Action Mediates Environmental Enrichment Induced Cognitive Restoration

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Songjun; Panikker, Priyalakshmi; Iqbal, Sahira; Elefant, Felice

    2016-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) conditions have beneficial effects for reinstating cognitive ability in neuropathological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease (AD). While EE benefits involve epigenetic gene control mechanisms that comprise histone acetylation, the histone acetyltransferases (HATs) involved remain largely unknown. Here, we examine a role for Tip60 HAT action in mediating activity- dependent beneficial neuroadaptations to EE using the Drosophila CNS mushroom body (MB) as a well-characterized cognition model. We show that flies raised under EE conditions display enhanced MB axonal outgrowth, synaptic marker protein production, histone acetylation induction and transcriptional activation of cognition linked genes when compared to their genotypically identical siblings raised under isolated conditions. Further, these beneficial changes are impaired in both Tip60 HAT mutant flies and APP neurodegenerative flies. While EE conditions provide some beneficial neuroadaptive changes in the APP neurodegenerative fly MB, such positive changes are significantly enhanced by increasing MB Tip60 HAT levels. Our results implicate Tip60 as a critical mediator of EE-induced benefits, and provide broad insights into synergistic behavioral and epigenetic based therapeutic approaches for treatment of cognitive disorder. PMID:27454757

  4. Tip60 HAT Action Mediates Environmental Enrichment Induced Cognitive Restoration.

    PubMed

    Xu, Songjun; Panikker, Priyalakshmi; Iqbal, Sahira; Elefant, Felice

    2016-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) conditions have beneficial effects for reinstating cognitive ability in neuropathological disorders like Alzheimer's disease (AD). While EE benefits involve epigenetic gene control mechanisms that comprise histone acetylation, the histone acetyltransferases (HATs) involved remain largely unknown. Here, we examine a role for Tip60 HAT action in mediating activity- dependent beneficial neuroadaptations to EE using the Drosophila CNS mushroom body (MB) as a well-characterized cognition model. We show that flies raised under EE conditions display enhanced MB axonal outgrowth, synaptic marker protein production, histone acetylation induction and transcriptional activation of cognition linked genes when compared to their genotypically identical siblings raised under isolated conditions. Further, these beneficial changes are impaired in both Tip60 HAT mutant flies and APP neurodegenerative flies. While EE conditions provide some beneficial neuroadaptive changes in the APP neurodegenerative fly MB, such positive changes are significantly enhanced by increasing MB Tip60 HAT levels. Our results implicate Tip60 as a critical mediator of EE-induced benefits, and provide broad insights into synergistic behavioral and epigenetic based therapeutic approaches for treatment of cognitive disorder.

  5. Effects of environmental enrichment on behaviour, physiology and performance of pigs: A review.

    PubMed

    Mkwanazi, Mbusiseni Vusumuzi; Ncobela, Cyprial Ndumiso; Kanengoni, Arnold Tapera; Chimonyo, Michael

    2017-06-26

    The aim of this paper is to critically analyse and synthesise existing knowledge concerning the use of environmental enrichment and its effect on behaviour, physiology and performance of pigs housed in intensive production systems. The objective is also to provide clarity as to what constitute successful enrichment and recommend on when and how enrichment should be used. Environmental enrichment is usually understood as an attempt to improve animal welfare and to lesser extent, performance. Common enrichment objects used are straw bedding, suspended rope and wood shavings, toys, rubber tubing, coloured plastic keys, table tennis balls, chains and strings. These substrates need to be chewable, deformable, destructible and ingestible. For enrichment to be successful four goals are the prerequisite. Firstly, enrichment should increase the number and range of normal behaviours (2) prevent the phenomenon of anomalous behaviours or reduce their frequency (3) increase positive use of the environment such as space and (4) increase the ability of the animals to deal with behavioural and physiological challenges. The performance, behaviour and physiology of pigs in enriched environments is similar or in some cases slightly better when compared with barren environments. In studies where there was no improvement, it should be born in mind that enriching the environment may not always be practical and yield positive results due to factors such as type of enrichment substrates, duration of provision and type of enrichment used. The review also identifies possible areas which still need further research, especially in understanding the role of enrichment, novelty, breed differences and other enrichment alternatives.

  6. Environmental enrichment in the absence of wheel running produces beneficial behavioural and anti-oxidative effects in rats.

    PubMed

    Mármol, F; Sánchez, J; Torres, M N; Chamizo, V D

    2017-11-01

    The effects of early environmental enrichment (EE) when solving a simple spatial task in adult male rats were assessed. After weaning, rats were housed in pairs in enriched or standard cages (EE and control groups) for two and a half months. Then the rats were trained in a triangular-shaped pool to find a hidden platform whose location was defined in terms of two sources of information, a landmark outside the pool and a particular corner of the pool. As expected, enriched rats reached the platform faster than control animals. Enriched rats also performed better on a subsequent test trial without the platform with the geometry cue individually presented (in the absence of the landmark). Most importantly, the beneficial effects of the present protocol were obtained in the absence of wheel running. Additionally, the antioxidative effects in the hippocampus produced by the previous protocol are also shown. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Environmental enrichment increases the GFAP+ stem cell pool and reverses hypoxia-induced cognitive deficits in juvenile mice.

    PubMed

    Salmaso, Natalina; Silbereis, John; Komitova, Mila; Mitchell, Patrick; Chapman, Katherine; Ment, Laura R; Schwartz, Michael L; Vaccarino, Flora M

    2012-06-27

    Premature children born with very low birth weight (VLBW) can suffer chronic hypoxic injury as a consequence of abnormal lung development and cardiovascular abnormalities, often leading to grave neurological and behavioral consequences. Emerging evidence suggests that environmental enrichment improves outcome in animal models of adult brain injury and disease; however, little is known about the impact of environmental enrichment following developmental brain injury. Intriguingly, data on socio-demographic factors from longitudinal studies that examined a number of VLBW cohorts suggest that early environment has a substantial impact on neurological and behavioral outcomes. In the current study, we demonstrate that environmental enrichment significantly enhances behavioral and neurobiological recovery from perinatal hypoxic injury. Using a genetic fate-mapping model that allows us to trace the progeny of GFAP+ astroglial cells, we show that hypoxic injury increases the proportion of astroglial cells that attain a neuronal fate. In contrast, environmental enrichment increases the stem cell pool, both through increased stem cell proliferation and stem cell survival. In mice subjected to hypoxia and subsequent enrichment there is an additive effect of both conditions on hippocampal neurogenesis from astroglia, resulting in a robust increase in the number of neurons arising from GFAP+ cells by the time these mice reach full adulthood.

  8. Environmental enrichment alters dentate granule cell morphology in oldest-old rat.

    PubMed

    Darmopil, Sanja; Petanjek, Zdravko; Mohammed, Abdul H; Bogdanović, Nenad

    2009-08-01

    The hippocampus of aged rats shows marked age-related morphological changes that could cause memory deficits. Experimental evidence has established that environmental enrichment attenuates memory deficits in aged rats. We therefore studied whether environmental enrichment produces morphological changes on the dentate granule cells of aged rats. Fifteen male Sprague-Dawley rats, 24 months of age, were randomly distributed in two groups that were housed under standard (n = 7) or enriched (n = 8) environmental conditions for 26 days. Quantitative data of dendritic morphology from dentate gyrus granule cells were obtained on Golgi-Cox stained sections. Environmental enrichment significantly increased the complexity and size of dendritic tree (total number of segments increased by 61% and length by 116%), and spine density (88% increase). There were large interindividual differences within the enriched group, indicating differential individual responses to environmental stimulation. Previous studies in young animals have shown changes produced by environmental enrichment in the morphology of dentate gyrus granule cells. The results of the present study show that environmental enrichment can also produce changes in dentate granule cell morphology in the senescent brain. In conclusion, the hippocampus retains its neuroplastic capacity during aging, and enriched environmental housing conditions can attenuate age-related dendritic regression and synaptic loss, thus preserving memory functions.

  9. Environmental enrichment mitigates the impact of ancestral stress on motor skill and corticospinal tract plasticity.

    PubMed

    McCreary, J Keiko; Erickson, Zachary T; Metz, Gerlinde A S

    2016-10-06

    An adverse fetal environment in utero has been associated with long-term alterations in brain structure and function, and a higher risk of neurological disorders in later life. A common consequence of early adverse experience is impaired motor system function. A causal relationship for stress-associated impairments and a suitable therapy, however, have not been determined yet. To investigate the impact of ancestral stress on corticospinal tract (CST) morphology and fine motor performance in rats, and to determine if adverse programming by ancestral stress can be mitigated by environmental enrichment therapy in rats. The study examined F3 offspring generated by three lineages; one with prenatal stress only in the F1 generation, one with compounding effects of multigenerational prenatal stress, and a non-stress control lineage. F3 offspring from each lineage were injected with biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) into the motor cortex for anterograde tracing of the CST. Examination of the CST revealed reduced axonal density in the ancestrally stressed lineages. These anatomical changes were associated with significant impairments in skilled walking, as indicated by reduced foot placement accuracy and disturbed inter-limb coordination. Therapeutic intervention by environmental enrichment reduced the neuromorphological consequences of ancestral stress and restored skilled walking ability. The data suggest a causal relationship between stress-induced abnormal CST function and loss of fine motor performance. Thus, ancestral stress may be a determinant of motor system development and motor skill. Environmental enrichment may represent an effective intervention for the adverse programming by ancestral stress and trauma. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Early social enrichment rescues adult behavioral and brain abnormalities in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

    PubMed

    Oddi, Diego; Subashi, Enejda; Middei, Silvia; Bellocchio, Luigi; Lemaire-Mayo, Valerie; Guzmán, Manuel; Crusio, Wim E; D'Amato, Francesca R; Pietropaolo, Susanna

    2015-03-13

    Converging lines of evidence support the use of environmental stimulation to ameliorate the symptoms of a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. Applying these interventions at very early ages is critical to achieve a marked reduction of the pathological phenotypes. Here we evaluated the impact of early social enrichment in Fmr1-KO mice, a genetic mouse model of fragile X syndrome (FXS), a major developmental disorder and the most frequent monogenic cause of autism. Enrichment was achieved by providing male KO pups and their WT littermates with enhanced social stimulation, housing them from birth until weaning with the mother and an additional nonlactating female. At adulthood they were tested for locomotor, social, and cognitive abilities; furthermore, dendritic alterations were assessed in the hippocampus and amygdala, two brain regions known to be involved in the control of the examined behaviors and affected by spine pathology in Fmr1-KOs. Enrichment rescued the behavioral FXS-like deficits displayed in adulthood by Fmr1-KO mice, that is, hyperactivity, reduced social interactions, and cognitive deficits. Early social enrichment also eliminated the abnormalities shown by adult KO mice in the morphology of hippocampal and amygdala dendritic spines, namely an enhanced density of immature vs mature types. Importantly, enrichment did not induce neurobehavioral changes in WT mice, thus supporting specific effects on FXS-like pathology. These findings show that early environmental stimulation has profound and long-term beneficial effects on the pathological FXS phenotype, thereby encouraging the use of nonpharmacological interventions for the treatment of this and perhaps other neurodevelopmental diseases.

  11. Environmental Enrichments for a Group of Captive Macaws: Low Interaction Does Not Mean Low Behavioral Changes.

    PubMed

    Reimer, Jéssica; Maia, Caroline Marques; Santos, Eliana Ferraz

    2016-01-01

    Environmental enrichment has been widely used to improve conditions for nonhuman animals in captivity. However, there is no consensus about the best way to evaluate the success of enrichments. This study evaluated whether the proportion of time spent interacting with enrichments indicated the proportion of overall behavioral changes. Six environmental enrichments were introduced in succession to 16 captive macaws, and interaction of the animals with them as well as the behaviors of the group were recorded before and during the enrichments. All of the enrichments affected the proportions of time spent in different behaviors. Macaws interacted more with certain items (hibiscus and food tree) than with others (a toy or swings and stairs), but introduction of the enrichments that invoked the least interaction caused as many behavioral changes as those that invoked the most. Moreover, feeding behavior was only affected by the enrichment that invoked the least interaction, a change not detected by a general analysis of enrichment effects. In conclusion, little interaction with enrichment does not mean little change in behavior, and the effects of enrichments are more complex than previously considered.

  12. Why from Early Environmental Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sabo, Helena Maria

    2010-01-01

    Nature protection is increasingly becoming one of the most important concerns of contemporary society and of 3 major issues: deterioration prevention, environmental remediation actions and environmental reconstruction, which mainly consist of remedies, and preservation or maintenance of the de-polluted areas. Interest and love for nature are…

  13. Impact of Environmental Enrichment Devices on NTP In Vivo Studies

    PubMed Central

    Churchill, Sheba R.; Morgan, Daniel L.; Kissling, Grace E.; Travlos, Gregory S.; King-Herbert, Angela P.

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this study was to determine whether the use of nesting material or polycarbonate shelters, as enrichment devices would have an impact on endpoints commonly measured during the conduct of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) 13-week studies. The study design was consistent with the NTP 13-week toxicity studies. Harlan Sprague Dawley (HSD) rats and their offspring, and B6C3F1/N mice were assigned to control (unenriched) and enriched experimental groups. Body weight, food and water consumption, behavioral observations, fecal content, clinical pathology, gross pathology, organ weights, and histopathology were evaluated. Enriched male mice and male and female rats exhibited decreased feed intake without a subsequent decrease in body weight; this may have been the result of the nesting material reducing the effect of cold stress thereby allowing for more efficient use of feed. There were statistical differences in some hematological parameters, however these were not considered physiologically relevant since all values were within the normal range. Gross pathology and histopathological findings were background changes and were not considered enrichment-related. Nesting material and shelters were used frequently and consistently and allowed animals to display species typical behavior. There was no significant impact on commonly measured endpoints in HSD rats and B6C3F1/N mice given enrichment devices. PMID:26873679

  14. Environmental Enrichment Effect on Fecal Glucocorticoid Metabolites and Captive Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) Behavior.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Carlyle Mendes; de Azevedo, Cristiano Schetini; Guimarães, Marcelo Alcino de Barros Vaz; Young, Robert John

    2016-01-01

    Environmental enrichment is a technique that may reduce the stress of nonhuman animals in captivity. Stress may interfere with normal behavioral expression and affect cognitive decision making. Noninvasive hormonal studies can provide important information about the stress statuses of animals. This study evaluated the effectiveness of different environmental enrichment treatments in the diminution of fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (stress indicators) of three captive maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus). Correlations of the fecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels with expressed behaviors were also determined. Results showed that environmental enrichment reduced fecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels. Furthermore, interspecific and foraging enrichment items were most effective in reducing stress in two of the three wolves. No definite pattern was found between behavioral and physiological responses to stress. In conclusion, these behavioral and physiological data showed that maned wolves responded positively from an animal well being perspective to the enrichment items presented.

  15. Behavioral and physiologic responses to environmental enrichment in the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus).

    PubMed

    Cummings, Dawn; Brown, Janine L; Rodden, Melissa D; Songsasen, Nucharin

    2007-09-01

    The ex situ population of maned wolves is not self-sustaining due to poor reproduction, caused primarily by parental incompetence. Studies have shown that environmental enrichment can promote natural parental behaviors in zoo animals. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of environmental enrichment on behavioral and physiological responses of maned wolves. During an 8-week experimental period, daily behavior observations and fecal sample collection were conducted on four adult wolves (2.2) individually housed in environments without enrichment. After 2 weeks, the wolves were chronologically provided with 2-week intervals of hiding dead mice around the exhibit, no enrichment, and introduction of boomer balls. Responses of the wolves to enrichment were assessed based on activity levels and exploratory rates, as well as the level of corticoid metabolites in fecal samples collected daily throughout the study period. Providing wolves with environmental enrichment significantly increased exploratory behaviors (P<0.05), especially when mice were hidden in the enclosure. Fecal corticoid concentrations were increased during periods of enrichment in males (P<0.05), but not in females. Overall, there were no correlations between behavioral responses to enrichment and fecal corticoid levels. Behavioral results suggest that environmental enrichment elicits positive effects on the behavior of captive maned wolves. There is evidence suggesting that providing animals with ability to forage for food is a more effective enrichment strategy than introducing objects. There is need for a longer term study to determine the impact of environmental enrichment in this species. Zoo Biol 26:331-343, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. Early enrichment in free-range laying hens: effects on ranging behaviour, welfare and response to stressors.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D L M; Hinch, G N; Downing, J A; Lee, C

    2018-03-01

    concentrations within eggs from enriched birds (P<0.0001). Correspondingly, the enriched hens showing a greater increase in the number of visits following range area reduction compared to non-enriched hens (P=0.02). Only one rearing room per treatment was used but these preliminary data indicate 3 weeks of early enrichment had some long-term effects on hen ranging behaviour and enhanced hen's adaptability to environmental stressors.

  17. Relationship between Environmental Enrichment and the Response to Novelty in Laboratory-housed Pigs

    PubMed Central

    Backus, Brittany L; Sutherland, Mhairi A; Brooks, Tiffanie A

    2017-01-01

    Environmental enrichment is the enhancement of the physical or social environment in which an animal lives with the goal to improve its quality of life. Our objective was to investigate the effect of providing environmental enrichment in the home pen on responsiveness to novelty in laboratory-housed pigs. Pigs were housed (4 pigs per pen) in enriched (n = 32) or barren (control; n = 32) pens for 3 wk total and tested in 2 anxiety behavioral tests, the novel object (NOT) and human interaction (HIT) tests. Pigs were placed in a novel arena for a 5-min familiarization period, after which either a novel object (NOT) or an unfamiliar human (HIT) was introduced for a 5-min interaction period. Behavior in the home pen and during NOT and HIT was monitored through direct observations and videorecording. In the home pen, enriched pigs spent more time active and interacting with the environment, whereas control pigs spent more time inactive and in social interactions. In addition, enriched pigs crossed more squares during the familiarization period, tended to freeze more, and interacted less with the novel object or person than control pigs. In conclusion, enrichment may improve welfare by stimulating activity and decreasing aggressive behaviors in the home pen. However, enriched pigs may experience increased anxiety when exposed to novelty, whereas pigs housed without environmental enrichment—due to lack of stimulation in the home pen—may be more motivated to interact with sources of novelty or enrichment during testing than their enriched counterparts. PMID:29256368

  18. Key issues concerning environmental enrichment for laboratory-held fish species.

    PubMed

    Williams, T D; Readman, G D; Owen, S F

    2009-04-01

    An improved knowledge and understanding of the fundamental biological requirements is needed for many of the species of fish held in captivity and, without this knowledge it is difficult to determine the optimal conditions for laboratory culture. The aim of this paper is to review the key issues concerning environmental enrichment for laboratory-held fish species and identify where improvements are required. It provides background information on environmental enrichment, describes enrichment techniques currently used in aquatic ecotoxicology studies, identifies potential restrictions in their use and discusses why more detailed and species-specific guidance is needed.

  19. Effects of undernourishment, recurrent seizures and enriched environment during early life in hippocampal morphology.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Paula Steffen; Simão, Fabrício; Hemb, Marta; Xavier, Léder Leal; Nunes, Magda Lahorgue

    2014-04-01

    It has been recently shown that enriched environment led to a significant benefit in learning and retention of visual-spatial memory, being able to reverse the cognitive impairment generated by undernourishment and recurrent seizures. We investigated the hippocampal morphological effects of recurrent seizures and undernourishment early in life in Wistar rats and the possible benefits produced by the enriched environment in these conditions. The morphological parameters stereologically evaluated were hippocampal volume, thickness of pyramidal stratum of the CA1 subfield and neuronal and glial densities in the same subfield. Male Wistar rats were divided into eight groups including nourished, nourished+enriched environment, nourished+recurrent seizures, nourished+recurrent seizures+enriched environment, undernourished, undernourished+enriched environment, undernourished+recurrent seizures and undernourished+recurrent seizures+enriched environment. Undernourishment model consisted in nutritional deprivation regimen from post-natal day 2 (P2) to P15. From P8 to P10, recurrent seizures group were induced by flurothyl three times per day. Enriched environment groups were exposed between P21 and P51. Our main findings were: (1) animals submitted to the enriched environment showed an increased hippocampal volume; (2) enriched environment promotes increases in the thickness of the pyramidal layer in hippocampal CA1 subfield in animals nourished and undernourished with recurrent seizures; (3) undernourishment during early development decreased neuronal density in CA1 and CA3 subfields. Our findings show that these three conditions induces important changes in hippocampal morphology, the most deleterious changes are induced by undernourishment and recurrent seizures, while more beneficial morphological changes are produced by enriched environment. Copyright © 2014 ISDN. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Environmental proteomics reveals taxonomic and functional changes in an enriched aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Northrop, Amanda C; Brooks, Rachel; Ellison, Aaron M; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Ballif, Bryan A

    2017-10-01

    Aquatic ecosystem enrichment can lead to distinct and irreversible changes to undesirable states. Understanding changes in active microbial community function and composition following organic-matter loading in enriched ecosystems can help identify biomarkers of such state changes. In a field experiment, we enriched replicate aquatic ecosystems in the pitchers of the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea . Shotgun metaproteomics using a custom metagenomic database identified proteins, molecular pathways, and contributing microbial taxa that differentiated control ecosystems from those that were enriched. The number of microbial taxa contributing to protein expression was comparable between treatments; however, taxonomic evenness was higher in controls. Functionally active bacterial composition differed significantly among treatments and was more divergent in control pitchers than enriched pitchers. Aerobic and facultative anaerobic bacteria contributed most to identified proteins in control and enriched ecosystems, respectively. The molecular pathways and contributing taxa in enriched pitcher ecosystems were similar to those found in larger enriched aquatic ecosystems and are consistent with microbial processes occurring at the base of detrital food webs. Detectable differences between protein profiles of enriched and control ecosystems suggest that a time series of environmental proteomics data may identify protein biomarkers of impending state changes to enriched states.

  1. Does Environmental Enrichment Reduce Stress? An Integrated Measure of Corticosterone from Feathers Provides a Novel Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Fairhurst, Graham D.; Frey, Matthew D.; Reichert, James F.; Szelest, Izabela; Kelly, Debbie M.; Bortolotti, Gary R.

    2011-01-01

    Enrichment is widely used as tool for managing fearfulness, undesirable behaviors, and stress in captive animals, and for studying exploration and personality. Inconsistencies in previous studies of physiological and behavioral responses to enrichment led us to hypothesize that enrichment and its removal are stressful environmental changes to which the hormone corticosterone and fearfulness, activity, and exploration behaviors ought to be sensitive. We conducted two experiments with a captive population of wild-caught Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana) to assess responses to short- (10-d) and long-term (3-mo) enrichment, their removal, and the influence of novelty, within the same animal. Variation in an integrated measure of corticosterone from feathers, combined with video recordings of behaviors, suggests that how individuals perceive enrichment and its removal depends on the duration of exposure. Short- and long-term enrichment elicited different physiological responses, with the former acting as a stressor and birds exhibiting acclimation to the latter. Non-novel enrichment evoked the strongest corticosterone responses of all the treatments, suggesting that the second exposure to the same objects acted as a physiological cue, and that acclimation was overridden by negative past experience. Birds showed weak behavioral responses that were not related to corticosterone. By demonstrating that an integrated measure of glucocorticoid physiology varies significantly with changes to enrichment in the absence of agonistic interactions, our study sheds light on potential mechanisms driving physiological and behavioral responses to environmental change. PMID:21412426

  2. Environmental enrichment affects adrenocortical stress responses in the endangered black-footed ferret

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poessel, S.A.; Biggins, D.E.; Santymire, R.M.; Livieri, T.M.; Crooks, K.R.; Angeloni, L.

    2011-01-01

    Potential stressors of wildlife living in captivity, such as artificial living conditions and frequent human contact, may lead to a higher occurrence of disease and reduced reproductive function. One successful method used by wildlife managers to improve general well-being is the provision of environmental enrichment, which is the practice of providing animals under managed care with environmental stimuli. The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is a highly-endangered carnivore species that was rescued from extinction by removal of the last remaining individuals from the wild to begin an ex situ breeding program. Our goal was to examine the effect of environmental enrichment on adrenocortical activity in ferrets by monitoring fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM). Results demonstrated that enrichment lowered FGM in juvenile male ferrets, while increasing it in adult females; enrichment had no effect on FGM in juvenile females and adult males. These results correspond with our findings that juvenile males interacted more with the enrichment items than did adult females. However, we did not detect an impact of FGM on the incidence of disease or on the ability of ferrets to become reproductive during the following breeding season. We conclude that an environmental enrichment program could benefit captive juvenile male ferrets by reducing adrenocortical activity. ?? 2011 Elsevier Inc.

  3. Environmental enrichment affects adrenocortical stress responses in the endangered black-footed ferret.

    PubMed

    Poessel, Sharon A; Biggins, Dean E; Santymire, Rachel M; Livieri, Travis M; Crooks, Kevin R; Angeloni, Lisa

    2011-07-01

    Potential stressors of wildlife living in captivity, such as artificial living conditions and frequent human contact, may lead to a higher occurrence of disease and reduced reproductive function. One successful method used by wildlife managers to improve general well-being is the provision of environmental enrichment, which is the practice of providing animals under managed care with environmental stimuli. The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is a highly-endangered carnivore species that was rescued from extinction by removal of the last remaining individuals from the wild to begin an ex situ breeding program. Our goal was to examine the effect of environmental enrichment on adrenocortical activity in ferrets by monitoring fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM). Results demonstrated that enrichment lowered FGM in juvenile male ferrets, while increasing it in adult females; enrichment had no effect on FGM in juvenile females and adult males. These results correspond with our findings that juvenile males interacted more with the enrichment items than did adult females. However, we did not detect an impact of FGM on the incidence of disease or on the ability of ferrets to become reproductive during the following breeding season. We conclude that an environmental enrichment program could benefit captive juvenile male ferrets by reducing adrenocortical activity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Early Social Enrichment Improves Social Motivation and Skills in a Monogenic Mouse Model of Autism, the Oprm1 (-/-) Mouse.

    PubMed

    Garbugino, Luciana; Centofante, Eleonora; D'Amato, Francesca R

    2016-01-01

    Environmental enrichment has been proven to have positive effects on both behavioral and physiological phenotypes in rodent models of mental and neurodevelopmental disorders. In this study, we used mice lacking the µ-opioid receptor gene (Oprm1 (-/-)), which has been shown to have deficits in social competence and communication, to assess the hypothesis that early enrichment can ameliorate sociability during development and adulthood. Due to the immaturity of sensory-motor capabilities of young pups, we chose as environmental stimulation a second lactating female, who provided extra maternal care and stimulation from birth. The results show that double mothering normalized the abnormal response to maternal separation in Oprm1 (-/-) pups and increased social motivation in juveniles and adult knockout mice. Additionally, we observed that Oprm1 (-/-) mice act as less attractive social partners than wild types, which suggests that social motivation can be modulated by the stimulus employed. This experiment supports previous findings suggesting that early social environmental stimulation has profound and long-term beneficial effects, encouraging the use of nonpharmacological interventions for the treatment of social defects in neurodevelopmental diseases.

  5. The Use of the Puzzle Box as a Means of Assessing the Efficacy of Environmental Enrichment

    PubMed Central

    O'Connor, Angela M.; Burton, Thomas J.; Leamey, Catherine A.; Sawatari, Atomu

    2014-01-01

    Environmental enrichment can dramatically influence the development and function of neural circuits. Further, enrichment has been shown to successfully delay the onset of symptoms in models of Huntington’s disease 1-4, suggesting environmental factors can evoke a neuroprotective effect against the progressive, cellular level damage observed in neurodegenerative disorders. The ways in which an animal can be environmentally enriched, however, can vary considerably. Further, there is no straightforward manner in which the effects of environmental enrichment can be assessed: most methods require either fairly complicated behavioral paradigms and/or postmortem anatomical/physiological analyses. This protocol describes the use of a simple and inexpensive behavioral assay, the Puzzle Box 5-7 as a robust means of determining the efficacy of increased social, sensory and motor stimulation on mice compared to cohorts raised in standard laboratory conditions. This simple problem solving task takes advantage of a rodent’s innate desire to avoid open enclosures by seeking shelter. Cognitive ability is assessed by adding increasingly complex impediments to the shelter’s entrance. The time a given subject takes to successfully remove the obstructions and enter the shelter serves as the primary metric for task performance. This method could provide a reliable means of rapidly assessing the efficacy of different enrichment protocols on cognitive function, thus paving the way for systematically determining the role specific environmental factors play in delaying the onset of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease. PMID:25590345

  6. An Intergenerational Approach for Enriching Children's Environmental Attitudes and Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Shih-Tsen; Kaplan, Matthew S.

    2006-01-01

    Intergenerational programming, which brings children, youth, and older adults together for mutually beneficial interaction, represents a relatively new strategy for broadening the public's awareness and participation in environmental activities. To explore the potential benefits of involving older adults and young people in joint environmental…

  7. Evaluating an Enrichment Program in Early Childhood: A Multi-Methods Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Aswegen, Christa; Pendergast, Donna

    2015-01-01

    This article reports on the evaluation of one topic in an enrichment program designed for children in their early years of learning. The program is responsive to an increased understanding of the benefits for very young children of programs that not only take advantage of the sensitive periods for learning but that also assist parents to a take a…

  8. Evaluation of objects and food for environmental enrichment of NZW rabbits.

    PubMed

    Harris, L D; Custer, L B; Soranaka, E T; Burge, J R; Ruble, G R

    2001-01-01

    The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals states that both structural and social environments should be considered when addressing the husbandry needs of laboratory animals. The purpose of this study was to investigate environmental enrichment strategies that could potentially enhance the well-being of rabbits. Male and female 6-week old New Zealand White rabbits were divided into three groups: food-enriched (Bunny Stix, Bunny Blocks, or celery), non-food enriched (Jingle Ball, Kong toy, or Nylabone), and not enriched. Animals were given a particular enrichment for 1 h daily for 15 days. Home cages were fitted with specially designed plexiglass doors, which allowed the animals' interactions with the objects to be videotaped. The amount of time the animal interacted with each object and the total activity during the 1-h taped session were recorded for each rabbit. Rabbits were weighed weekly. Rabbits spent significantly more time interacting with the Bunny Stix than any other food item or non-food object. In addition, total activity time was significantly greater for all rabbits enriched with food versus any of the non-food items. Weight gains after 15 days did not differ significantly, but there was a trend towards increased weight gains in food-enriched rabbits. In this study, food was a stronger, more sustained enrichment device than were non-food objects.

  9. Behavioral effects of environmental enrichment on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina concolor) and gray seals (Hafichoerus grypus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, S.A.; Bay, M.S.; Martin, M.L.; Hatfield, J.S.

    2002-01-01

    Zoos and aquariums have been incorporating environmental enrichment into their animal care programs for the past 30 years to increase mental stimulation and promote natural behaviors. However, most attempts to document the effects of enrichment on animal behavior have focused on terrestrial mammals. Staff at the National Aquarium in Baltimore conducted an investigation of the behavioral effects of enrichment on the seven harbor seals and two gray seals housed in the aquarium's outdoor seal exhibit. We expected that enrichment would change the amount of time the animals spent engaged in specific behaviors. The behaviors recorded were: resting in water, resting hauled out, maintenance, breeding display, breeding behavior, aggression, pattern swimming, random swimming, exploration, and out of sight. Activity levels (random swimming and exploration) were expected to increase, while stereotypic behaviors (pattern swimming) were expected to decrease. The frequency and duration of behaviors were documented for 90 hr in both the control phase (without enrichment) and the experimental phase (with enrichment). Statistically significant differences (P<0.05) in the time spent in pattern swimming, random swimming, exploration, and out of sight were observed between the two phases. With enrichment, pattern swimming and out of sight decreased, while random swimming and exploration behavior increased. These findings demonstrate that enrichment can promote behaviors (random swimming and exploration) that are likely to be normal for phocids in the wild, and that may contribute to the behavioral complexity of these seals in captivity.

  10. Behavioral effects of environmental enrichment on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina concolor) and gray seals (Halichoerus grypus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, S.A.; Bay, M.S.; Martin, M.L.; Hatfield, J.S.

    2002-01-01

    Zoos and aquariums have been incorporating environmental enrichment into their animal care programs for the past 30 years to increase mental stimulation and promote natural behaviors. However, most attempts to document the effects of enrichment on animal behavior have focused on terrestrial mammals. Staff at the National Aquarium in Baltimore conducted an investigation of the behavioral effects of enrichment on the seven harbor seals and two gray seals housed in the aquarium's outdoor seal exhibit. We expected that enrichment would change the amount of time the animals spent engaged in specific behaviors. The behaviors recorded were: resting in water, resting hauled out, maintenance, breeding display, breeding behavior, aggression, pattern swimming, random swimming, exploration, and out of sight. Activity levels (random swimming and exploration) were expected to increase, while stereotypic behaviors (pattern swimming) were expected to decrease. The frequency and duration of behaviors were documented for 90 hr in both the control phase (without enrichment) and the experimental phase (with enrichment). Statistically significant differences (P < 0.05) in the time spent in pattern swimming, random swimming, exploration, and out of sight were observed between the two phases. With enrichment, pattern swimming and out of sight decreased, while random swimming and exploration behavior increased. These findings demonstrate that enrichment can promote behaviors (random swimming and exploration) that are likely to be normal for phocids in the wild, and that may contribute to the behavioral complexity of these seals in captivity. ?? 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. Environmental Enrichment Alters Neurotrophin Levels After Fetal Alcohol Exposure in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Parks, Elizabeth A.; McMechan, Andrew P.; Hannigan, John H.; Berman, Robert F.

    2014-01-01

    Background Prenatal alcohol exposure causes abnormal brain development, leading to behavioral deficits, some of which can be ameliorated by environmental enrichment. As both environmental enrichment and prenatal alcohol exposure can individually alter neurotrophin expression, we studied the interaction of prenatal alcohol and postweaning environmental enrichment on brain neurotrophin levels in rats. Methods Pregnant rats received alcohol by gavage, 0, 4, or 6 g / kg / d (Zero, Low, or High groups), or no treatment (Naïve group), on gestational days 8 to 20. After weaning on postnatal day 21, offspring were housed for 6 weeks in Isolated, Social, or Enriched conditions. Levels of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) were then measured in frontal cortex, occipital cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellar vermis. Results Prenatal alcohol exposure increased NGF levels in frontal cortex (High-dose group) and cerebellar vermis (High- and Low-dose groups); increased BDNF in frontal cortex, occipital cortex and hippocampus (Low-dose groups), and increased NT-3 in hippocampus and cerebellar vermis (High-dose). Environmental enrichment resulted in lower NGF, BDNF, and NT-3 levels in occipital cortex and lower NGF in frontal cortex. The only significant interaction between prenatal alcohol treatment and environment was in cerebellar vermis where NT-3 levels were higher for enriched animals after prenatal alcohol exposure, but not for animals housed under Isolated or Social conditions. Conclusions Both prenatal alcohol exposure and postweaning housing conditions alter brain neurotrophin levels, but the effects appear to be largely independent. Although environmental enrichment can improve functional outcomes, these results do not provide strong support for the hypothesis that rearing in a complex environment ameliorates prenatal alcohol effects on brain neurotrophin levels in rats. PMID:18652597

  12. Environmental Enrichment Duration Differentially Affects Behavior and Neuroplasticity in Adult Mice.

    PubMed

    Leger, Marianne; Paizanis, Eleni; Dzahini, Kwamivi; Quiedeville, Anne; Bouet, Valentine; Cassel, Jean-Christophe; Freret, Thomas; Schumann-Bard, Pascale; Boulouard, Michel

    2015-11-01

    Environmental enrichment is a powerful way to stimulate brain and behavioral plasticity. However the required exposure duration to reach such changes has not been substantially analyzed. We aimed to assess the time-course of appearance of the beneficial effects of enriched environment. Thus, different behavioral tests and neurobiological parameters (such as neurogenesis, brain monoamines levels, and stress-related hormones) were concomitantly realized after different durations of enriched environment (24 h, 1, 3, or 5 weeks). While short enrichment exposure (24 h) was sufficient to improve object recognition memory performances, a 3-week exposure was required to improve aversive stimulus-based memory performances and to reduce anxiety-like behavior; effects that were not observed with longer duration. The onset of behavioral changes after a 3-week exposure might be supported by higher serotonin levels in the frontal cortex, but seems independent of neurogenesis phenomenon. Additionally, the benefit of 3-week exposure on memory was not observed 3 weeks after cessation of enrichment. Thus, the 3-week exposure appears as an optimal duration in order to induce the most significant behavioral effects and to assess the underlying mechanisms. Altogether, these results suggest that the duration of exposure is a keystone of the beneficial behavioral and neurobiological effects of environmental enrichment. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Effects of Environmental Enrichment on the Fertility and Fecundity of Zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Wafer, Lemnique N; Jensen, V Behrana; Whitney, Jesse C; Gomez, Thomas H; Flores, Rene; Goodwin, Bradford S

    2016-01-01

    Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a popular vertebrate model in biomedical research, but information describing the effects of environmental enrichment on fertility and fecundity of zebrafish is sparse. In the current study, 18 breeding pairs were placed in divided 1.5-L breeding tanks containing 1 of 3 enrichment conditions: plastic grass (n = 6), plastic leaves (n = 6), or no enrichment (n = 6, control). The pairs were allowed to spawn for 3 h the next day, after which eggs were counted and breeding pairs were returned to holding tanks for use in subsequent sessions. Spawning sessions were repeated at 7-d intervals until the completion of 9 trials, with pairs rotating to a different condition at each interval. Total egg count (mean ± SEM) after 3 h was greater for zebrafish spawning in the grass environment (48.0 ± 7.7 eggs) than in the leaf or control environments (29.4 ± 5.3 and 20.4 ± 3.7 eggs, respectively). An interaction emerged between enrichment type and the age of the spawning pair on the number of fry at 6 d postfertilization (dpf). Initially, more fry were obtained from 110- and 160-dpf pairs with the grass enrichment, but from 173- and 180-dpf pairs there were more obtained with leaf enrichment than grass. A separate experiment showed that enrichment type did not have an effect on fry survivability. Overall, our data indicates that, under certain conditions, zebrafish fertility and fecundity are greater in a breeding tank containing environmental enrichment than in a bare tank.

  14. Effects of environmental enrichment on blood vessels in the optic tract of malnourished rats: A morphological and morphometric analysis.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Everton Horiquini; Soares, Roberto Oliveira; Braga, Natália Nassif; Almeida, Sebastião de Sousa; Lachat, João-José

    2016-06-01

    This study aimed to compare the effects of environmental enrichment in nourished (on a diet containing 16% protein) and malnourished (on a diet containing 6% protein) rats during the critical period of brain development, specifically focusing on the optic nerve. By means of morphologic and morphometric assessment of the optic nerve, we analyzed the changes caused by diet and stimulation (environmental enrichment) on postnatal day 35, a time point ideal for such morphological analysis since developmental processes are considered complete at this age. Malnourished animals presented low body and brain weights and high body-to-brain weight ratio compared to well-nourished rats. Furthermore, malnourished animals showed morphological changes in the optic nerve such as edema and vacuolization characterized by increased interstitial space. The malnourished-stimulated group presented lesions characteristic of early protein malnutrition but were milder than lesions exhibited by malnourished-non-stimulated group. The morphometric analysis revealed no difference in glial cell density between groups, but there was significantly higher blood vessel density in the stimulated rats, independent of their nutritional condition. Our data indicate that protein malnutrition imposed during the critical period of brain development alters the cytoarchitecture of the optic nerve. In addition, we affirm that a 1-hour exposure to an enriched environment everyday was sufficient for tissue preservation in rats maintained on a low-protein diet. This protective effect might be related to angiogenesis, as confirmed by the increased vascular density observed in morphometric analyses.

  15. Environmental enrichment improves novel object recognition and enhances agonistic behavior in male mice.

    PubMed

    Mesa-Gresa, Patricia; Pérez-Martinez, Asunción; Redolat, Rosa

    2013-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is an experimental paradigm in which rodents are housed in complex environments containing objects that provide stimulation, the effects of which are expected to improve the welfare of these subjects. EE has been shown to considerably improve learning and memory in rodents. However, knowledge about the effects of EE on social interaction is generally limited and rather controversial. Thus, our aim was to evaluate both novel object recognition and agonistic behavior in NMRI mice receiving EE, hypothesizing enhanced cognition and slightly enhanced agonistic interaction upon EE rearing. During a 4-week period half the mice (n = 16) were exposed to EE and the other half (n = 16) remained in a standard environment (SE). On PND 56-57, animals performed the object recognition test, in which recognition memory was measured using a discrimination index. The social interaction test consisted of an encounter between an experimental animal and a standard opponent. Results indicated that EE mice explored the new object for longer periods than SE animals (P < .05). During social encounters, EE mice devoted more time to sociability and agonistic behavior (P < .05) than their non-EE counterparts. In conclusion, EE has been shown to improve object recognition and increase agonistic behavior in adolescent/early adulthood mice. In the future we intend to extend this study on a longitudinal basis in order to assess in more depth the effect of EE and the consistency of the above-mentioned observations in NMRI mice. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Environmental enrichment attenuates hippocampal neuroinflammation and improves cognitive function during influenza infection

    PubMed Central

    Jurgens, Heidi A.; Johnson, Rodney W.

    2012-01-01

    Recent findings from our lab have shown that peripheral infection of adult mice with influenza A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) virus induces a neuroinflammatory response that is paralleled by loss of neurotrophic and glial regulatory factors in the hippocampus, and deficits in cognitive function. Environmental enrichment has been shown to exert beneficial effects on the brain and behavior in many central nervous system (CNS) disorders, but its therapeutic potential during peripheral viral infection remains unknown. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to determine if long-term continuous exposure to environmental enrichment could prevent and/or attenuate the negative effects of influenza infection on the hippocampus and spatial cognition. Mice were housed in enriched or standard conditions for 4 months, and continued to live in their respective environments throughout influenza infection. Cognitive function was assessed in a reversal learning version of the Morris water maze, and changes in hippocampal expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-α), neurotrophic (BDNF, NGF), and immunomodulatory (CD200, CX3CL1) factors were determined. We found that environmental enrichment reduced neuroinflammation and helped prevent the influenza-induced reduction in hippocampal CD200. These changes were paralleled by improved cognitive performance of enriched mice infected with influenza when compared to infected mice in standard housing conditions. Collectively, these data are the first to demonstrate the positive impact of environmental enrichment on the brain and cognition during peripheral viral infection, and suggest that enhanced modulation of the neuroimmune response may underlie these beneficial effects. PMID:22687335

  17. MSK1 Regulates Environmental Enrichment-Induced Hippocampal Plasticity and Cognitive Enhancement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karelina, Kate; Hansen, Katelin F.; Choi, Yun-Sik; DeVries, A. Courtney; Arthur, J. Simon C.; Obrietan, Karl

    2012-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) has marked beneficial effects on cognitive capacity. Given the possibility that this form of neuronal plasticity could function via the actuation of the same cellular signaling pathways that underlie learning/memory formation, we examined whether the MAPK cascade effector, mitogen/stress-activated kinase 1 (MSK1),…

  18. Therapeutic Effects of Anthocyanins and Environmental Enrichment in R6/1 Huntington's Disease Mice.

    PubMed

    Kreilaus, Fabian; Spiro, Adena S; Hannan, Anthony J; Garner, Brett; Jenner, Andrew M

    2016-10-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with no effective treatment or cure. Environmental enrichment has been used to slow processes leading to ageing and neurodegenerative diseases including HD. Phenolic phytochemicals including anthocyanins have also been shown to improve brain function in ageing and neurodegenerative diseases. This study examined the effects of anthocyanin dietary supplementation and environmental enrichment on behavioural phenotypes and brain cholesterol metabolic alterations in the R6/1 mouse model of HD. R6/1 HD mice and their wild-type littermate controls were randomised into the different experimental conditions, involving either environmentally enriched versus standard housing conditions, or anthocyanin versus control diet. Motor dysfunction was assessed from 6 to 26 weeks using the RotaRod and the hind-paw clasping tests. Gas chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry was used to quantify a broad range of sterols in the striatum and cortex of R6/1 HD mice. Anthocyanin dietary supplementation delayed the onset of motor dysfunction in female HD mice. Environmental enrichment improved motor function and the hind paw clasping phenotype in male HD mice only. These mice also had lower levels of cholesterol oxidation products in the cortex compared to standard-housed mice. Both anthocyanin supplementation and environmental enrichment are able to improve the motor dysfunction phenotype of R6/1 mice, however the effectiveness of these interventions was different between the two sexes. The interventions examined did not alter brain cholesterol metabolic deficits that have been reported previously in this mouse model of HD.

  19. Transcriptomic Responses of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) to Environmental Enrichment during Juvenile Rearing

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Melissa L.; Hori, Tiago S.; Rise, Matthew L.; Fleming, Ian A.

    2015-01-01

    Captive rearing programs (hatcheries) are often used in conservation and management efforts for at-risk salmonid fish populations. However, hatcheries typically rear juveniles in environments that contrast starkly with natural conditions, which may lead to phenotypic and/or genetic changes that adversely affect the performance of juveniles upon their release to the wild. Environmental enrichment has been proposed as a mechanism to improve the efficacy of population restoration efforts from captive-rearing programs; in this study, we examine the influence of environmental enrichment during embryo and yolk-sac larval rearing on the transcriptome of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Full siblings were reared in either a hatchery environment devoid of structure or an environment enriched with gravel substrate. At the end of endogenous feeding by juveniles, we examined patterns of gene transcript abundance in head tissues using the cGRASP-designed Agilent 4×44K microarray. Significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) indicated that 808 genes were differentially transcribed between the rearing environments and a total of 184 gene ontological (GO) terms were over- or under-represented in this gene list, several associated with mitosis/cell cycle and muscle and heart development. There were also pronounced differences among families in the degree of transcriptional response to rearing environment enrichment, suggesting that gene-by-environment effects, possibly related to parental origin, could influence the efficacy of enrichment interventions. PMID:25742646

  20. Transcriptomic responses of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) to environmental enrichment during juvenile rearing.

    PubMed

    Evans, Melissa L; Hori, Tiago S; Rise, Matthew L; Fleming, Ian A

    2015-01-01

    Captive rearing programs (hatcheries) are often used in conservation and management efforts for at-risk salmonid fish populations. However, hatcheries typically rear juveniles in environments that contrast starkly with natural conditions, which may lead to phenotypic and/or genetic changes that adversely affect the performance of juveniles upon their release to the wild. Environmental enrichment has been proposed as a mechanism to improve the efficacy of population restoration efforts from captive-rearing programs; in this study, we examine the influence of environmental enrichment during embryo and yolk-sac larval rearing on the transcriptome of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Full siblings were reared in either a hatchery environment devoid of structure or an environment enriched with gravel substrate. At the end of endogenous feeding by juveniles, we examined patterns of gene transcript abundance in head tissues using the cGRASP-designed Agilent 4×44K microarray. Significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) indicated that 808 genes were differentially transcribed between the rearing environments and a total of 184 gene ontological (GO) terms were over- or under-represented in this gene list, several associated with mitosis/cell cycle and muscle and heart development. There were also pronounced differences among families in the degree of transcriptional response to rearing environment enrichment, suggesting that gene-by-environment effects, possibly related to parental origin, could influence the efficacy of enrichment interventions.

  1. Laboratory mouse housing conditions can be improved using common environmental enrichment without compromising data.

    PubMed

    André, Viola; Gau, Christine; Scheideler, Angelika; Aguilar-Pimentel, Juan A; Amarie, Oana V; Becker, Lore; Garrett, Lillian; Hans, Wolfgang; Hölter, Sabine M; Janik, Dirk; Moreth, Kristin; Neff, Frauke; Östereicher, Manuela; Racz, Ildiko; Rathkolb, Birgit; Rozman, Jan; Bekeredjian, Raffi; Graw, Jochen; Klingenspor, Martin; Klopstock, Thomas; Ollert, Markus; Schmidt-Weber, Carsten; Wolf, Eckhard; Wurst, Wolfgang; Gailus-Durner, Valérie; Brielmeier, Markus; Fuchs, Helmut; Hrabé de Angelis, Martin

    2018-04-01

    Animal welfare requires the adequate housing of animals to ensure health and well-being. The application of environmental enrichment is a way to improve the well-being of laboratory animals. However, it is important to know whether these enrichment items can be incorporated in experimental mouse husbandry without creating a divide between past and future experimental results. Previous small-scale studies have been inconsistent throughout the literature, and it is not yet completely understood whether and how enrichment might endanger comparability of results of scientific experiments. Here, we measured the effect on means and variability of 164 physiological parameters in 3 conditions: with nesting material with or without a shelter, comparing these 2 conditions to a "barren" regime without any enrichments. We studied a total of 360 mice from each of 2 mouse strains (C57BL/6NTac and DBA/2NCrl) and both sexes for each of the 3 conditions. Our study indicates that enrichment affects the mean values of some of the 164 parameters with no consistent effects on variability. However, the influence of enrichment appears negligible compared to the effects of other influencing factors. Therefore, nesting material and shelters may be used to improve animal welfare without impairment of experimental outcome or loss of comparability to previous data collected under barren housing conditions.

  2. Laboratory mouse housing conditions can be improved using common environmental enrichment without compromising data

    PubMed Central

    Gau, Christine; Scheideler, Angelika; Aguilar-Pimentel, Juan A.; Amarie, Oana V.; Becker, Lore; Garrett, Lillian; Hans, Wolfgang; Hölter, Sabine M.; Janik, Dirk; Moreth, Kristin; Neff, Frauke; Östereicher, Manuela; Racz, Ildiko; Rathkolb, Birgit; Rozman, Jan; Bekeredjian, Raffi; Graw, Jochen; Klingenspor, Martin; Klopstock, Thomas; Ollert, Markus; Schmidt-Weber, Carsten; Wolf, Eckhard; Wurst, Wolfgang; Gailus-Durner, Valérie; Brielmeier, Markus; Fuchs, Helmut; Hrabé de Angelis, Martin

    2018-01-01

    Animal welfare requires the adequate housing of animals to ensure health and well-being. The application of environmental enrichment is a way to improve the well-being of laboratory animals. However, it is important to know whether these enrichment items can be incorporated in experimental mouse husbandry without creating a divide between past and future experimental results. Previous small-scale studies have been inconsistent throughout the literature, and it is not yet completely understood whether and how enrichment might endanger comparability of results of scientific experiments. Here, we measured the effect on means and variability of 164 physiological parameters in 3 conditions: with nesting material with or without a shelter, comparing these 2 conditions to a “barren” regime without any enrichments. We studied a total of 360 mice from each of 2 mouse strains (C57BL/6NTac and DBA/2NCrl) and both sexes for each of the 3 conditions. Our study indicates that enrichment affects the mean values of some of the 164 parameters with no consistent effects on variability. However, the influence of enrichment appears negligible compared to the effects of other influencing factors. Therefore, nesting material and shelters may be used to improve animal welfare without impairment of experimental outcome or loss of comparability to previous data collected under barren housing conditions. PMID:29659570

  3. Environmental enrichment and exercise are better than social enrichment to reduce memory deficits in amyloid beta neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Prado Lima, Mariza G; Schimidt, Helen L; Garcia, Alexandre; Daré, Letícia R; Carpes, Felipe P; Izquierdo, Ivan; Mello-Carpes, Pâmela B

    2018-03-06

    Recently, nongenetic animal models to study the onset and development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have appeared, such as the intrahippocampal infusion of peptides present in Alzheimer amyloid plaques [i.e., amyloid-β (Aβ)]. Nonpharmacological approaches to AD treatment also have been advanced recently, which involve combinations of behavioral interventions whose specific effects are often difficult to determine. Here we isolate the neuroprotective effects of three of these interventions-environmental enrichment (EE), anaerobic physical exercise (AnPE), and social enrichment (SE)-on Aβ-induced oxidative stress and on impairments in learning and memory induced by Aβ. Wistar rats were submitted to 8 wk of EE, AnPE, or SE, followed by Aβ infusion in the dorsal hippocampus. Short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) of object recognition (OR) and social recognition (SR) were evaluated. Biochemical assays determined hippocampal oxidative status: reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation by thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) test, and total antioxidant capacity by ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP), as well as acetylcholinesterase activity. Aβ infusion resulted in memory deficits and hippocampal oxidative damage. EE and AnPE prevented all memory deficits (STM and LTM of OR and SR) and lipid peroxidation (i.e., TBARS). SE prevented only the SR memory deficits and the decrease of total antioxidant capacity decrease (i.e., FRAP). Traditionally, findings obtained with EE protocols do not allow discrimination of the roles of the three individual factors involved. Here we demonstrate that EE and physical exercise have better neuroprotective effects than SE in memory deficits related to Aβ neurotoxicity in the AD model tested.

  4. Environmental enrichment ameliorates depressive-like symptoms in young rats bred for learned helplessness.

    PubMed

    Richter, S Helene; Zeuch, Benjamin; Riva, Marco A; Gass, Peter; Vollmayr, Barbara

    2013-09-01

    The incidence of major depression is known to be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. In the current study, we therefore set out to investigate depressive-like behavior and its modification by environmental enrichment using rats bred for 'learned helplessness'. 45 males of congenitally helpless (cLH, n=22) and non-helpless (cNLH, n=23) rats of two different generations were used to systematically investigate differential effects of environmental enrichment on learned helpless behavior, anhedonic-like behavior (sweetened condensed milk consumption) and spontaneous behavior in the home cage. While enrichment was found to reduce learned helpless behavior in 14 weeks old, but not 28 weeks old cLH rats, it did not affect the consumption of sweetened condensed milk. Regarding the home cage behavior, no consistent changes between rats of different strains, housing conditions, and ages were observed. We could thus demonstrate that a genetic predisposition for learned helplessness may interact with environmental conditions in mediating some, but not all depressive-like symptoms in congenitally learned helpless rats. However, future efforts are needed to isolate the differential benefits of environmental factors in mediating the different depression-related symptoms. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Environmentally enriched male mink gain more copulations than stereotypic, barren-reared competitors.

    PubMed

    Díez-León, María; Bowman, Jeff; Bursian, Steve; Filion, Hélène; Galicia, David; Kanefsky, Jeannette; Napolitano, Angelo; Palme, Rupert; Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht; Scribner, Kim; Mason, Georgia

    2013-01-01

    Wild carnivores in zoos, conservation breeding centres, and farms commonly live in relatively small, unstimulating enclosures. Under these captive conditions, in a range of species including giant pandas, black-footed ferrets, and European mink, male reproductive abilities are often poor. Such problems have long been hypothesized to be caused by these animals' housing conditions. We show for the first time that rearing under welfare-improving (i.e., highly valued and stress-reducing) environmental enrichments enhances male carnivores' copulatory performance: in mate choice competitions, enriched male American mink (Neovison vison) mated more often than non-enriched males. We screened for several potential mediators of this effect. First was physiological stress and its impact on reproductive physiology; second, stress-mediated changes in morphology and variables related to immunocompetence that could influence male attractiveness; and third, behavioural changes likely to affect social competence, particularly autistic-like excessive routine and repetition ('perseveration') as is reflected in the stereotypies common in captive animals. Consistent with physiological stress, excreted steroid metabolites revealed that non-enriched males had higher cortisol levels and lower androgen levels than enriched conspecifics. Their os penises (bacula) also tended to be less developed. Consistent with reduced attractiveness, non-enriched males were lighter, with comparatively small spleens and a trend to greater fluctuating asymmetry. Consistent with impaired social competence, non-enriched males performed more stereotypic behaviour (e.g., pacing) in their home cages. Of all these effects, the only significant predictor of copulation number was stereotypy (a trend suggesting that low bodyweights may also be influential): highly stereotypic males gained the fewest copulations. The neurophysiological changes underlying stereotypy thus handicap males sexually. We hypothesise that

  6. Environmentally Enriched Male Mink Gain More Copulations than Stereotypic, Barren-Reared Competitors

    PubMed Central

    Díez-León, María; Bowman, Jeff; Bursian, Steve; Filion, Hélène; Galicia, David; Kanefsky, Jeannette; Napolitano, Angelo; Palme, Rupert; Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht; Scribner, Kim; Mason, Georgia

    2013-01-01

    Wild carnivores in zoos, conservation breeding centres, and farms commonly live in relatively small, unstimulating enclosures. Under these captive conditions, in a range of species including giant pandas, black-footed ferrets, and European mink, male reproductive abilities are often poor. Such problems have long been hypothesized to be caused by these animals' housing conditions. We show for the first time that rearing under welfare-improving (i.e., highly valued and stress-reducing) environmental enrichments enhances male carnivores' copulatory performance: in mate choice competitions, enriched male American mink (Neovison vison) mated more often than non-enriched males. We screened for several potential mediators of this effect. First was physiological stress and its impact on reproductive physiology; second, stress-mediated changes in morphology and variables related to immunocompetence that could influence male attractiveness; and third, behavioural changes likely to affect social competence, particularly autistic-like excessive routine and repetition (‘perseveration’) as is reflected in the stereotypies common in captive animals. Consistent with physiological stress, excreted steroid metabolites revealed that non-enriched males had higher cortisol levels and lower androgen levels than enriched conspecifics. Their os penises (bacula) also tended to be less developed. Consistent with reduced attractiveness, non-enriched males were lighter, with comparatively small spleens and a trend to greater fluctuating asymmetry. Consistent with impaired social competence, non-enriched males performed more stereotypic behaviour (e.g., pacing) in their home cages. Of all these effects, the only significant predictor of copulation number was stereotypy (a trend suggesting that low bodyweights may also be influential): highly stereotypic males gained the fewest copulations. The neurophysiological changes underlying stereotypy thus handicap males sexually. We hypothesise

  7. Reorganization in processing of spectral and temporal input in the rat posterior auditory field induced by environmental enrichment

    PubMed Central

    Jakkamsetti, Vikram; Chang, Kevin Q.

    2012-01-01

    Environmental enrichment induces powerful changes in the adult cerebral cortex. Studies in primary sensory cortex have observed that environmental enrichment modulates neuronal response strength, selectivity, speed of response, and synchronization to rapid sensory input. Other reports suggest that nonprimary sensory fields are more plastic than primary sensory cortex. The consequences of environmental enrichment on information processing in nonprimary sensory cortex have yet to be studied. Here we examine physiological effects of enrichment in the posterior auditory field (PAF), a field distinguished from primary auditory cortex (A1) by wider receptive fields, slower response times, and a greater preference for slowly modulated sounds. Environmental enrichment induced a significant increase in spectral and temporal selectivity in PAF. PAF neurons exhibited narrower receptive fields and responded significantly faster and for a briefer period to sounds after enrichment. Enrichment increased time-locking to rapidly successive sensory input in PAF neurons. Compared with previous enrichment studies in A1, we observe a greater magnitude of reorganization in PAF after environmental enrichment. Along with other reports observing greater reorganization in nonprimary sensory cortex, our results in PAF suggest that nonprimary fields might have a greater capacity for reorganization compared with primary fields. PMID:22131375

  8. Effects of environmental enrichment and paradoxical sleep deprivation on open-field behavior of amphetamine-treated mice.

    PubMed

    Fukushiro, Daniela Fukue; Calzavara, Mariana Bendlin; Trombin, Thaís Fernanda; Lopez, Giorgia Batlle; Abílio, Vanessa Costhek; Andersen, Monica Levy; Tufik, Sergio; Frussa-Filho, Roberto

    2007-11-23

    Environmental enrichment or paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) has been shown to modify some responses elicited by drugs of abuse. The aims of the present study were to examine the effects of environmental enrichment and PSD, conducted separately or in association, on open-field behavior elicited by amphetamine (AMP) in mice. Male C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to live in either an enriched environmental condition (EC) or a standard environmental condition (SC) for 12 months since weaning. Some of the EC and SC mice were sleep deprived for 48 h, while others were maintained in their home-cages. Immediately after PSD or home-cage stay, the animals received an ip injection of saline, 2.5 mg/kg AMP or 5.0 mg/kg AMP. Fifteen minutes later, their open-field behavior was quantified. Whereas PSD enhanced total and peripheral locomotor activity of acutely AMP-treated mice, environmental enrichment presented only a trend toward enhancement. When PSD and environmental enrichment were combined, an increase in the total and peripheral locomotion frequencies of AMP-treated animals, similar to that observed after PSD, was revealed. In addition, PSD, environmental enrichment or their combination did not modify the effects of AMP on the other open-field behavioral parameters that were analyzed. The present findings demonstrate that some (but not all) of the behavioral effects caused by AMP acute administration can be similarly and specifically enhanced by both environmental enrichment and PSD in C57BL/6 mice.

  9. Environmental enrichment may protect against neural and behavioural damage caused by withdrawal from chronic alcohol intake.

    PubMed

    Nobre, Manoel Jorge

    2016-12-01

    Exposure to stress and prolonged exposure to alcohol leads to neuronal damages in several brain regions, being the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) one of the most affected. These changes presumably reduce the ability of the organism to cope with these stimuli and may underlie a series of maladaptive behaviours among which include drug addiction and withdrawal. Drug-addicted individuals show a pattern of behavior similar to patients with lesions of the mPFC. This impairment in the decision-making could be one of the mechanisms responsible for the transition from the casual to compulsive drug use. The environmental enrichment (EE) has a protective effect on the neural and cognitive impairments induced by psychoactive drugs, including ethyl alcohol. The present study aims to determine the influence of withdrawal from intermittent long-term alcohol exposure on alcohol preference, emotional reactivity and neural aspects of early isolated or grouped reared rats kept under standard or complex environments and the influence of social isolation on these measures, as well. Our results point out new insights on this matter showing that the EE can attenuate the adverse effects of withdrawal and social isolation on rat's behavior. This effect is probably due to its protective action on the mPFC integrity, including the cingulate area 1 (Cg1), and the prelimbic (PrL) and infralimbic cortex (IL), what could account for the absence of changes in the emotional reactivity in EE alcohol withdrawal rats. We argue that morphological changes at these cortical levels can afford the emotional, cognitive and behavioural dysregulations verified following withdrawal from chronic alcohol intake. Copyright © 2016 ISDN. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Environmental enrichment of young adult rats (Rattus norvegicus) in different sensory modalities has long-lasting effects on their ability to learn via specific sensory channels.

    PubMed

    Dolivo, Vassilissa; Taborsky, Michael

    2017-05-01

    Sensory modalities individuals use to obtain information from the environment differ among conspecifics. The relative contributions of genetic divergence and environmental plasticity to this variance remain yet unclear. Numerous studies have shown that specific sensory enrichments or impoverishments at the postnatal stage can shape neural development, with potential lifelong effects. For species capable of adjusting to novel environments, specific sensory stimulation at a later life stage could also induce specific long-lasting behavioral effects. To test this possibility, we enriched young adult Norway rats with either visual, auditory, or olfactory cues. Four to 8 months after the enrichment period we tested each rat for their learning ability in 3 two-choice discrimination tasks, involving either visual, auditory, or olfactory stimulus discrimination, in a full factorial design. No sensory modality was more relevant than others for the proposed task per se, but rats performed better when tested in the modality for which they had been enriched. This shows that specific environmental conditions encountered during early adulthood have specific long-lasting effects on the learning abilities of rats. Furthermore, we disentangled the relative contributions of genetic and environmental causes of the response. The reaction norms of learning abilities in relation to the stimulus modality did not differ between families, so interindividual divergence was mainly driven by environmental rather than genetic factors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Adolescent environmental enrichment prevents behavioral and physiological sequelae of adolescent chronic stress in female (but not male) rats.

    PubMed

    Smith, Brittany L; Morano, Rachel L; Ulrich-Lai, Yvonne M; Myers, Brent; Solomon, Matia B; Herman, James P

    2017-11-22

    The late adolescent period is characterized by marked neurodevelopmental and endocrine fluctuations in the transition to early adulthood. Adolescents are highly responsive to the external environment, which enhances their ability to adapt and recover from challenges when given nurturing influences, but also makes them vulnerable to aberrant development when exposed to prolonged adverse situations. Female rats are particularly sensitive to the effects of chronic stress in adolescence, which manifests as passive coping strategies and blunted hypothalamo-pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) stress responses in adulthood. We sought to intervene by exposing adolescent rats to environmental enrichment (EE) immediately prior to and during chronic stress, hypothesizing that EE would minimize or prevent the long-term effects of stress that emerge in adult females. To test this, we exposed male and female rats to EE on postnatal days (PND) 33-60 and implemented chronic variable stress (CVS) on PND 40-60. CVS consisted of twice-daily unpredictable stressors. Experimental groups included: CVS/unenriched, unstressed/EE, CVS/EE and unstressed/unenriched (n = 10 of each sex/group). In adulthood, we measured behavior in the open field test and forced swim test (FST) and collected blood samples following the FST. We found that environmental enrichment given during the adolescent period prevented the chronic stress-induced transition to passive coping in the FST and reversed decreases in peak adrenocortical responsiveness observed in adult females. Adolescent enrichment had little to no effect on males or unstressed females tested in adulthood, indicating that beneficial effects are specific to females that were exposed to chronic stress.

  12. CONVERGENT TRANSCRIPTOMICS AND PROTEOMICS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT AND COCAINE IDENTIFIES NOVEL THERAPEUTIC STRATEGIES FOR ADDICTION

    PubMed Central

    ZHANG, YAFANG; CROFTON, ELIZABETH J.; FAN, XIUZHEN; LI, DINGGE; KONG, FANPING; SINHA, MALA; LUXON, BRUCE A.; SPRATT, HEIDI M.; LICHTI, CHERYL F.; GREEN, THOMAS A.

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptomic and proteomic approaches have separately proven effective at identifying novel mechanisms affecting addiction-related behavior; however, it is difficult to prioritize the many promising leads from each approach. A convergent secondary analysis of proteomic and transcriptomic results can glean additional information to help prioritize promising leads. The current study is a secondary analysis of the convergence of recently published separate transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of nucleus accumbens (NAc) tissue from rats subjected to environmental enrichment vs. isolation and cocaine self-administration vs. saline. Multiple bioinformatics approaches (e.g. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA), and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA)) were used to interrogate these rich data sets. Although there was little correspondence between mRNA vs. protein at the individual target level, good correspondence was found at the level of gene/protein sets, particularly for the environmental enrichment manipulation. These data identify gene sets where there is a positive relationship between changes in mRNA and protein (e.g. glycolysis, ATP synthesis, translation elongation factor activity, etc.) and gene sets where there is an inverse relationship (e.g. ribosomes, Rho GTPase signaling, protein ubiquitination, etc.). Overall environmental enrichment produced better correspondence than cocaine self-administration. The individual targets contributing to mRNA and protein effects were largely not overlapping. As a whole, these results confirm that robust transcriptomic and proteomic data sets can provide similar results at the gene/protein set level even when there is little correspondence at the individual target level and little overlap in the targets contributing to the effects. PMID:27717806

  13. The Language Research Center's Computerized Test System for environmental enrichment and psychological assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washburn, D. A.; Rumbaugh, D. M.; Richardson, W. K.

    1992-01-01

    In the spring of 1987, we undertook to provide environmental enrichment to nonhuman primate subjects in ways that would complement and even contribute to the bio-behaviorial science that justified the monkeys' captivity. Of course, the psychological well-being of captive primates--and indeed all research species-- has been an area of intense research activity since the 1985 amendment of the Animal Welfare Act. This mandate for researchers to ensure the psychological, as well as physical, fitness of experimental animals catalyzed the humane and scientific interests of the research community. The contemporary literature is replete with proposed means both of assaying and of providing enrichment and well-being. Notwithstanding, consensus on either assessment or intervention has yet to be reached. The paradigm we employed was modelled after successful efforts with chimpanzees. An automated test system was constructed in which subjects responded to computer tasks by manipulating a joystick. The tasks, interactive game-like versions of many of the classic testing paradigms of cognitive and comparative psychology, permitted the controlled presentation of stimuli and demands without the required presence of a human experimenter. Despite significant barriers to the success, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and a variety of other primate species (including, of course, humans) have mastered the skills necessary for testing in this paradigm. Previous experiments have illustrated the utility of the test system for addressing questions of learning, memory, attention, perception, and motivation. Additional data have been reported to support the contention that the Language Research Center's Computerized Test System (LRC-CTS) serves its other raison d'etre--providing environmental enrichment and assessing psychological well-being. This paper is designed to augment previous descriptions of the technology and the paradigm for scientists and caretakers interested in environmental

  14. Human interaction as environmental enrichment for pair-housed wolves and wolf-dog crosses.

    PubMed

    Mehrkam, Lindsay R; Verdi, Nicolle T; Wynne, Clive D L

    2014-01-01

    Private nonhuman animal sanctuaries are often financially limited in their ability to implement traditional environmental enrichment strategies. One possible solution may be to provide socialized animals with human interaction sessions. However, the merit of human interaction as enrichment has received little empirical attention to date. The present study aimed to evaluate whether human interaction could be enriching for socialized, pair-housed wolves and wolf-dog crosses at a private sanctuary. Observations of each subject were conducted in a reversal design to measure species-typical affiliation, activity levels, and aberrant behaviors when caretakers were both present and absent. The results demonstrate significantly higher levels of conspecific-directed affiliation and activity levels and reduced aberrant behavior when human interaction was available. Social play also increased when caregivers were present, supporting the hypothesis that play among conspecifics may be maintained by positive changes in an animal's environment. The potential for human interaction to be established as a scientifically validated, cost-effective enrichment strategy is supported by these findings.

  15. Environmental enrichment attenuates cue-induced reinstatement of sucrose seeking in rats

    PubMed Central

    Grimm, Jeffery W.; Osincup, Daniel; Wells, Barbara; Manaois, Meghan; Fyall, Amber; Buse, Carl; Harkness, John H.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the effect of environmental enrichment on sucrose seeking in rats made abstinent from sucrose for 1 month, as measured by response for a tone + light cue previously associated with 10% sucrose self-administration. Rats were either enriched throughout the study (experiment 1) or only after sucrose self-administration training (experiment 2). Enrichment consisted of either housing the rats in pairs or grouping four rats (ENR4) in a large environment, both with novel objects. Controls (CON) were singly housed without novel objects. In experiment 1, ENR4 rats responded less to the sucrose-paired cue versus CON rats, but this difference was not statistically significant. In contrast, the decrease in response of ENR4 rats versus CON rats in experiment 2 was dramatic and significant. These findings, along with findings from other laboratories, support a hypothesis that the enrichment may provide individuals with a greater ability to discriminate the availability of reward. This may impart a decreased vulnerability to relapse behavior. Therefore, these results are relevant to both eating disorder and drug addiction – disorders characterized by relapse. PMID:19020412

  16. Environmental enrichment of brown capuchins (Cebus apella): behavioral and plasma and fecal cortisol measures of effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Boinski, S; Swing, S P; Gross, T S; Davis, J K

    1999-01-01

    No consensus exists about the quantity and variety of environmental enrichment needed to achieve an acceptable level of psychological well-being among singly housed primates. Behavioral and plasma and fecal cortisol measures were used to evaluate the effectiveness of four levels of toy and foraging enrichment provided to eight wild-caught, singly housed adult male brown capuchins (Cebus apella). The 16-week-long study comprised six conditions and began with a 4-week-long preexperimental and ended with a 4-week-long postexperimental period during which the subjects were maintained at baseline enrichment levels. During the intervening 8 weeks, the subjects were randomly assigned to a sequence of four 2-week-long experimental conditions: control (baseline conditions), toy (the addition of two plastic toys to each cage), box (access to a foraging box with food treats hidden within crushed alfalfa), and box & toy (the addition of two plastic toys and access to a foraging box). Behavioral responses to changes in enrichment were rapid and extensive. Within-subject repeated-measure ANOVAs with planned post hoc contrasts identified highly significant reductions in abnormal and undesirable behaviors (and increases in normal behaviors) as the level of enrichment increased from control to toy to box to box & toy. No significant behavioral differences were found between the control and pre- and postexperimental conditions. Plasma and fecal cortisol measures revealed a different response to changing enrichment levels. Repeated-measure ANOVA models found significant changes in both these measures across the six conditions. The planned post hoc analyses, however, while finding dramatic increases in cortisol titers in both the pre- and postexperimental conditions relative to the control condition, did not distinguish cortisol responses among the four enrichment levels. Linear regressions among weekly group means in behavioral and cortisol measures (n=16) found that plasma cortisol

  17. Environmental enrichment of brown capuchins (Cebus apella): Behavioral and plasma and fecal cortisol measures of effectiveness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boinski, S.; Swing, S.P.; Gross, T.S.; Davis, J.K.

    1999-01-01

    No consensus exists about the quantity and variety of environmental enrichment needed to achieve an acceptable level of psychological well-being among singly housed primates. Behavioral and plasma and fecal cortisol measures were used to evaluate the effectiveness of four levels of toy and foraging enrichment provided to eight wild-caught, singly housed adult male brown capuchins (Cebus apella). The 16-week-long study comprised six conditions and began with a 4-week-long preexperimental and ended with a 4-week-long postexperimental period during which the subjects were maintained at baseline enrichment levels. During the intervening 8 weeks, the subjects were randomly assigned to a sequence of four 2-week-long experimental conditions: control (baseline conditions), toy (the addition of two plastic toys to each cage), box (access to a foraging box with food treats hidden within crushed alfalfa), and box and toy (the addition of two plastic toys and access to a foraging box). Behavioral responses to changes in enrichment were rapid and extensive. Within-subject repeated-measure ANOVAs with planned post hoc contrasts identified highly significant reductions in abnormal and undesirable behaviors (and increases in normal behaviors) as the level of enrichment increased from control to toy to box to box and toy. No significant behavioral differences were found between the control and pre- and postexperimental conditions. Plasma and fecal cortisol measures revealed a different response to changing enrichment levels. Repeated-measure ANOVA models found significant changes in both these measures across the six conditions. The planned post hoc analyses, however, while finding dramatic increases in cortisol titers in both the pre- and postexperimental conditions relative to the control condition, did not distinguish cortisol responses among the four enrichment levels. Linear regressions among weekly group means in behavioral and cortisol measures (n = 16) found that plasma

  18. A new selective enrichment procedure for isolating Pasteurella multocida from avian and environmental samples

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, M.K.; Cicnjak-Chubbs, L.; Gates, R.J.

    1994-01-01

    A selective enrichment procedure, using two new selective media, was developed to isolate Pasteurella multocida from wild birds and environmental samples. These media were developed by testing 15 selective agents with six isolates of P. multocida from wild avian origin and seven other bacteria representing genera frequently found in environmental and avian samples. The resulting media—Pasteurella multocida selective enrichment broth and Pasteurella multocida selective agar—consisted of a blood agar medium at pH 10 containing gentamicin, potassium tellurite, and amphotericin B. Media were tested to determine: 1) selectivity when attempting isolation from pond water and avian carcasses, 2) sensitivity for detection of low numbers of P. multocida from pure and mixed cultures, 3) host range specificity of the media, and 4) performance compared with standard blood agar. With the new selective enrichment procedure, P. multocida was isolated from inoculated (60 organisms/ml) pond water 84% of the time, whereas when standard blood agar was used, the recovery rate was 0%.

  19. Virtual Environmental Enrichment through Video Games Improves Hippocampal-Associated Memory.

    PubMed

    Clemenson, Gregory D; Stark, Craig E L

    2015-12-09

    The positive effects of environmental enrichment and their neural bases have been studied extensively in the rodent (van Praag et al., 2000). For example, simply modifying an animal's living environment to promote sensory stimulation can lead to (but is not limited to) enhancements in hippocampal cognition and neuroplasticity and can alleviate hippocampal cognitive deficits associated with neurodegenerative diseases and aging. We are interested in whether these manipulations that successfully enhance cognition (or mitigate cognitive decline) have similar influences on humans. Although there are many "enriching" aspects to daily life, we are constantly adapting to new experiences and situations within our own environment on a daily basis. Here, we hypothesize that the exploration of the vast and visually stimulating virtual environments within video games is a human correlate of environmental enrichment. We show that video gamers who specifically favor complex 3D video games performed better on a demanding recognition memory task that assesses participants' ability to discriminate highly similar lure items from repeated items. In addition, after 2 weeks of training on the 3D video game Super Mario 3D World, naive video gamers showed improved mnemonic discrimination ability and improvements on a virtual water maze task. Two control conditions (passive and training in a 2D game, Angry Birds), showed no such improvements. Furthermore, individual performance in both hippocampal-associated behaviors correlated with performance in Super Mario but not Angry Birds, suggesting that how individuals explored the virtual environment may influence hippocampal behavior. The hippocampus has long been associated with episodic memory and is commonly thought to rely on neuroplasticity to adapt to the ever-changing environment. In animals, it is well understood that exposing animals to a more stimulating environment, known as environmental enrichment, can stimulate neuroplasticity and

  20. Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment: From Theory to Practice in the Early Grades: The Effects of Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment on Mathematics Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidt, Elise A.

    2014-01-01

    Following identification as the school district with the highest special education population in Midwest County, the Midwest School District took bold measures to address the issue. In partnership with the Midwest Intermediate School District, educators trained all kindergarten and first grade teachers in Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE)…

  1. Environmental Enrichment Promotes Plasticity and Visual Acuity Recovery in Adult Monocular Amblyopic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Bonaccorsi, Joyce; Cenni, Maria Cristina; Sale, Alessandro; Maffei, Lamberto

    2012-01-01

    Loss of visual acuity caused by abnormal visual experience during development (amblyopia) is an untreatable pathology in adults. In some occasions, amblyopic patients loose vision in their better eye owing to accidents or illnesses. While this condition is relevant both for its clinical importance and because it represents a case in which binocular interactions in the visual cortex are suppressed, it has scarcely been studied in animal models. We investigated whether exposure to environmental enrichment (EE) is effective in triggering recovery of vision in adult amblyopic rats rendered monocular by optic nerve dissection in their normal eye. By employing both electrophysiological and behavioral assessments, we found a full recovery of visual acuity in enriched rats compared to controls reared in standard conditions. Moreover, we report that EE modulates the expression of GAD67 and BDNF. The non invasive nature of EE renders this paradigm promising for amblyopia therapy in adult monocular people. PMID:22509358

  2. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of immunomodulation in the brain through environmental enrichment

    PubMed Central

    Singhal, Gaurav; Jaehne, Emily J.; Corrigan, Frances; Baune, Bernhard T.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies on environmental enrichment (EE) have shown cytokines, cellular immune components [e.g., T lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells], and glial cells in causal relationship to EE in bringing out changes to neurobiology and behavior. The purpose of this review is to evaluate these neuroimmune mechanisms associated with neurobiological and behavioral changes in response to different EE methods. We systematically reviewed common research databases. After applying all inclusion and exclusion criteria, 328 articles remained for this review. Physical exercise (PE), a form of EE, elicits anti-inflammatory and neuromodulatory effects through interaction with several immune pathways including interleukin (IL)-6 secretion from muscle fibers, reduced expression of Toll-like receptors on monocytes and macrophages, reduced secretion of adipokines, modulation of hippocampal T cells, priming of microglia, and upregulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 in central nervous system. In contrast, immunomodulatory roles of other enrichment methods are not studied extensively. Nonetheless, studies showing reduction in the expression of IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α in response to enrichment with novel objects and accessories suggest anti-inflammatory effects of novel environment. Likewise, social enrichment, though considered a necessity for healthy behavior, results in immunosuppression in socially defeated animals. This has been attributed to reduction in T lymphocytes, NK cells and IL-10 in subordinate animals. EE through sensory stimuli has been investigated to a lesser extent and the effect on immune factors has not been evaluated yet. Discovery of this multidimensional relationship between immune system, brain functioning, and EE has paved a way toward formulating environ-immuno therapies for treating psychiatric illnesses with minimal use of pharmacotherapy. While the immunomodulatory role of PE has been evaluated extensively, more research

  3. Linking environmental nutrient enrichment and disease emergence in humans and wildlife

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Pieter T. J.; Townsend, Alan R.; Cleveland, Cory C.; Glibert, Patricia M.; Howarth, Robert W.; McKenzie, Valerie J.; Rejmankova, Eliska; Ward, Mary H.

    2009-01-01

    Worldwide increases in the numbers of human and wildlife diseases present ecologists with the challenge of understanding how large-scale environmental changes affect host-parasite interactions. One of the most profound changes to Earth’s ecosystems is the alteration of global nutrient cycles, including those of phosphorus (P) and especially nitrogen (N). Alongside the obvious direct benefits of nutrient application for food production, growing evidence suggests that anthropogenic inputs of N and P can indirectly affect the abundance of infectious and noninfectious pathogens, sometimes leading to epidemic conditions. However, the mechanisms underpinning observed correlations, and how such patterns vary with disease type, have long remained conjectural. Here, we discuss recent experimental advances in this area to critically evaluate the relationship between environmental nutrient enrichment and disease. Given the inter-related nature of human and wildlife disease emergence, we include a broad range of human and wildlife examples from terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems. We examine the consequences of nutrient pollution on directly transmitted, vector-borne, complex life cycle, and noninfectious pathogens, including West Nile virus, malaria, harmful algal blooms, coral reef diseases and amphibian malformations. Our synthetic examination suggests that the effects of environmental nutrient enrichment on disease are complex and multifaceted, varying with the type of pathogen, host species and condition, attributes of the ecosystem and the degree of enrichment; some pathogens increase in abundance whereas others decline or disappear. Nevertheless, available evidence indicates that ecological changes associated with nutrient enrichment often exacerbate infection and disease caused by generalist parasites with direct or simple life cycles. Observed mechanisms include changes in host/vector density, host distribution, infection resistance, pathogen virulence or

  4. Virtual Environmental Enrichment through Video Games Improves Hippocampal-Associated Memory

    PubMed Central

    Clemenson, Gregory D.

    2015-01-01

    The positive effects of environmental enrichment and their neural bases have been studied extensively in the rodent (van Praag et al., 2000). For example, simply modifying an animal's living environment to promote sensory stimulation can lead to (but is not limited to) enhancements in hippocampal cognition and neuroplasticity and can alleviate hippocampal cognitive deficits associated with neurodegenerative diseases and aging. We are interested in whether these manipulations that successfully enhance cognition (or mitigate cognitive decline) have similar influences on humans. Although there are many “enriching” aspects to daily life, we are constantly adapting to new experiences and situations within our own environment on a daily basis. Here, we hypothesize that the exploration of the vast and visually stimulating virtual environments within video games is a human correlate of environmental enrichment. We show that video gamers who specifically favor complex 3D video games performed better on a demanding recognition memory task that assesses participants' ability to discriminate highly similar lure items from repeated items. In addition, after 2 weeks of training on the 3D video game Super Mario 3D World, naive video gamers showed improved mnemonic discrimination ability and improvements on a virtual water maze task. Two control conditions (passive and training in a 2D game, Angry Birds), showed no such improvements. Furthermore, individual performance in both hippocampal-associated behaviors correlated with performance in Super Mario but not Angry Birds, suggesting that how individuals explored the virtual environment may influence hippocampal behavior. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The hippocampus has long been associated with episodic memory and is commonly thought to rely on neuroplasticity to adapt to the ever-changing environment. In animals, it is well understood that exposing animals to a more stimulating environment, known as environmental enrichment, can

  5. Early repositioning through compound set enrichment analysis: a knowledge-recycling strategy.

    PubMed

    Temesi, Gergely; Bolgár, Bence; Arany, Adám; Szalai, Csaba; Antal, Péter; Mátyus, Péter

    2014-04-01

    Despite famous serendipitous drug repositioning success stories, systematic projects have not yet delivered the expected results. However, repositioning technologies are gaining ground in different phases of routine drug development, together with new adaptive strategies. We demonstrate the power of the compound information pool, the ever-growing heterogeneous information repertoire of approved drugs and candidates as an invaluable catalyzer in this transition. Systematic, computational utilization of this information pool for candidates in early phases is an open research problem; we propose a novel application of the enrichment analysis statistical framework for fusion of this information pool, specifically for the prediction of indications. Pharmaceutical consequences are formulated for a systematic and continuous knowledge recycling strategy, utilizing this information pool throughout the drug-discovery pipeline.

  6. Assessment of Foraging Devices as a Model for Decision-Making in Nonhuman Primate Environmental Enrichment

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Allyson J; Perkins, Chaney M; Harty, Nicole M; Niu, Mengyao; Buelo, Audrey K; Luck, Melissa L; Pierre, Peter J

    2014-01-01

    Continued progress to move evidence-based best practices into community and regulatory animal welfare standards depends in part on developing common metrics to assess cost, benefit, and relative value. Here we describe a model approach to evidence-based evaluation and an example of comprehensive cost–benefit assessment for a common element of environmental enrichment plans for laboratory-housed nonhuman primates. Foraging devices encourage a species-typical activity that dominates the time budget of primates outside captivity and provide inherent cognitive challenges, physical activity demands, and multi-sensory stimulation. However, their implementation is not standard, and is challenged by perception of high costs and labor; nutritional and health concerns; and identification of best practices in implementation (that is, device types, food type, frequency of delivery and rotation). To address these issues, we directly compared monkeys’ engagement with different foraging devices and the comprehensive cost of implementing foraging opportunities. We recorded 14 adult male cynomolgus monkeys’ interactions with 7 types of devices filled with a range of enrichment foods. All devices elicited foraging behavior, but there were significant differences among them both initially and over subsequent observations. Devices that afforded opportunity for extraction of small food items and that posed manipulative challenge elicited greater manipulation. The cost of providing a foraging opportunity to a single monkey is roughly US$1, with approximately 80% attributable to labor. This study is the first to perform a rigorous cost–benefit analysis and comparison of common foraging devices included in environmental enrichment. Its broader significance lies in its contribution to the development of methods to facilitate improvement in evidence-based practices and common standards to enhance laboratory animal welfare. PMID:25255067

  7. Environmental Enrichment, Age, and PPARα Interact to Regulate Proliferation in Neurogenic Niches

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Martín, Margarita; Rivera, Patricia; Blanco, Eduardo; Lorefice, Clara; Decara, Juan; Pavón, Francisco J.; Serrano, Antonia; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Suárez, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) ligands have been shown to modulate recovery after brain insults such as ischemia and irradiation by enhancing neurogenesis. In the present study, we investigated the effect of the genetic deletion of PPARα receptors on the proliferative rate of neural precursor cells (NPC) in the adult brain. The study was performed in aged Pparα−/− mice exposed to nutritional (treats) and environmental (games) enrichments for 20 days. We performed immunohistochemical analyses of cells containing the replicating cell DNA marker 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU+) and the immature neuronal marker doublecortin (Dcx+) in the main neurogenic zones of the adult brain: subgranular zone of dentate gyrus (SGZ), subventricular zone of lateral ventricles (SVZ), and/or hypothalamus. Results indicated a reduction in the number of BrdU+ cells in the neurogenic zones analyzed as well as Dcx+ cells in the SGZ during aging (2, 6, and 18 months). Pparα deficiency alleviated the age-related reduction of NPC proliferation (BrdU+ cells) in the SVZ of the 18-months-old mice. While no genotype effect on NPC proliferation was detected in the SGZ during aging, an accentuated reduction in the number of Dcx+ cells was observed in the SGZ of the 6-months-old Pparα−/− mice. Exposing the 18-months-old mice to nutritional and environmental enrichments reversed the Pparα−/−-induced impairment of NPC proliferation in the neurogenic zones analyzed. The enriched environment did not modify the number of SGZ Dcx+ cells in the 18 months old Pparα−/− mice. These results identify PPARα receptors as a potential target to counteract the naturally observed decline in adult NPC proliferation associated with aging and impoverished environments. PMID:27013951

  8. Environmental Enrichment, Age, and PPARα Interact to Regulate Proliferation in Neurogenic Niches.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Martín, Margarita; Rivera, Patricia; Blanco, Eduardo; Lorefice, Clara; Decara, Juan; Pavón, Francisco J; Serrano, Antonia; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Suárez, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) ligands have been shown to modulate recovery after brain insults such as ischemia and irradiation by enhancing neurogenesis. In the present study, we investigated the effect of the genetic deletion of PPARα receptors on the proliferative rate of neural precursor cells (NPC) in the adult brain. The study was performed in aged Pparα(-/-) mice exposed to nutritional (treats) and environmental (games) enrichments for 20 days. We performed immunohistochemical analyses of cells containing the replicating cell DNA marker 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU+) and the immature neuronal marker doublecortin (Dcx+) in the main neurogenic zones of the adult brain: subgranular zone of dentate gyrus (SGZ), subventricular zone of lateral ventricles (SVZ), and/or hypothalamus. Results indicated a reduction in the number of BrdU+ cells in the neurogenic zones analyzed as well as Dcx+ cells in the SGZ during aging (2, 6, and 18 months). Pparα deficiency alleviated the age-related reduction of NPC proliferation (BrdU+ cells) in the SVZ of the 18-months-old mice. While no genotype effect on NPC proliferation was detected in the SGZ during aging, an accentuated reduction in the number of Dcx+ cells was observed in the SGZ of the 6-months-old Pparα(-/-) mice. Exposing the 18-months-old mice to nutritional and environmental enrichments reversed the Pparα(-/-)-induced impairment of NPC proliferation in the neurogenic zones analyzed. The enriched environment did not modify the number of SGZ Dcx+ cells in the 18 months old Pparα(-/-) mice. These results identify PPARα receptors as a potential target to counteract the naturally observed decline in adult NPC proliferation associated with aging and impoverished environments.

  9. Environmental Selection, Dispersal, and Organism Interactions Shape Community Assembly in High-Throughput Enrichment Culturing

    DOE PAGES

    Justice, N. B.; Sczesnak, A.; Hazen, T. C.; ...

    2017-08-04

    A central goal of microbial ecology is to identify and quantify the forces that lead to observed population distributions and dynamics. However, these forces, which include environmental selection, dispersal, and organism interactions, are often difficult to assess in natural environments. Here in this paper, we present a method that links microbial community structures with selective and stochastic forces through highly replicated subsampling and enrichment of a single environmental inoculum. Specifically, groundwater from a well-studied natural aquifer was serially diluted and inoculated into nearly 1,000 aerobic and anaerobic nitrate-reducing cultures, and the final community structures were evaluated with 16S rRNA genemore » amplicon sequencing. We analyzed the frequency and abundance of individual operational taxonomic units (OTUs) to understand how probabilistic immigration, relative fitness differences, environmental factors, and organismal interactions contributed to divergent distributions of community structures. We further used a most probable number (MPN) method to estimate the natural condition-dependent cultivable abundance of each of the nearly 400 OTU cultivated in our study and infer the relative fitness of each. Additionally, we infer condition-specific organism interactions and discuss how this high-replicate culturing approach is essential in dissecting the interplay between overlapping ecological forces and taxon-specific attributes that underpin microbial community assembly. IMPORTANCEThrough highly replicated culturing, in which inocula are subsampled from a single environmental sample, we empirically determine how selective forces, interspecific interactions, relative fitness, and probabilistic dispersal shape bacterial communities. These methods offer a novel approach to untangle not only interspecific interactions but also taxon-specific fitness differences that manifest across different cultivation conditions and lead to the selection

  10. Environmental Selection, Dispersal, and Organism Interactions Shape Community Assembly in High-Throughput Enrichment Culturing

    SciTech Connect

    Justice, N. B.; Sczesnak, A.; Hazen, T. C.

    A central goal of microbial ecology is to identify and quantify the forces that lead to observed population distributions and dynamics. However, these forces, which include environmental selection, dispersal, and organism interactions, are often difficult to assess in natural environments. Here in this paper, we present a method that links microbial community structures with selective and stochastic forces through highly replicated subsampling and enrichment of a single environmental inoculum. Specifically, groundwater from a well-studied natural aquifer was serially diluted and inoculated into nearly 1,000 aerobic and anaerobic nitrate-reducing cultures, and the final community structures were evaluated with 16S rRNA genemore » amplicon sequencing. We analyzed the frequency and abundance of individual operational taxonomic units (OTUs) to understand how probabilistic immigration, relative fitness differences, environmental factors, and organismal interactions contributed to divergent distributions of community structures. We further used a most probable number (MPN) method to estimate the natural condition-dependent cultivable abundance of each of the nearly 400 OTU cultivated in our study and infer the relative fitness of each. Additionally, we infer condition-specific organism interactions and discuss how this high-replicate culturing approach is essential in dissecting the interplay between overlapping ecological forces and taxon-specific attributes that underpin microbial community assembly. IMPORTANCEThrough highly replicated culturing, in which inocula are subsampled from a single environmental sample, we empirically determine how selective forces, interspecific interactions, relative fitness, and probabilistic dispersal shape bacterial communities. These methods offer a novel approach to untangle not only interspecific interactions but also taxon-specific fitness differences that manifest across different cultivation conditions and lead to the selection

  11. Environmental Enrichment Extends Photoreceptor Survival and Visual Function in a Mouse Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Barone, Ilaria; Novelli, Elena; Piano, Ilaria; Gargini, Claudia; Strettoi, Enrica

    2012-01-01

    Slow, progressive rod degeneration followed by cone death leading to blindness is the pathological signature of all forms of human retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Therapeutic schemes based on intraocular delivery of neuroprotective agents prolong the lifetime of photoreceptors and have reached the stage of clinical trial. The success of these approaches depends upon optimization of chronic supply and appropriate combination of factors. Environmental enrichment (EE), a novel neuroprotective strategy based on enhanced motor, sensory and social stimulation, has already been shown to exert beneficial effects in animal models of various disorders of the CNS, including Alzheimer and Huntington disease. Here we report the results of prolonged exposure of rd10 mice, a mutant strain undergoing progressive photoreceptor degeneration mimicking human RP, to such an enriched environment from birth. By means of microscopy of retinal tissue, electrophysiological recordings, visual behaviour assessment and molecular analysis, we show that EE considerably preserves retinal morphology and physiology as well as visual perception over time in rd10 mutant mice. We find that protective effects of EE are accompanied by increased expression of retinal mRNAs for CNTF and mTOR, both factors known as instrumental to photoreceptor survival. Compared to other rescue approaches used in similar animal models, EE is highly effective, minimally invasive and results into a long-lasting retinal protection. These results open novel perspectives of research pointing to environmental strategies as useful tools to extend photoreceptor survival. PMID:23209820

  12. 76 FR 9054 - Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement for the AREVA Enrichment Services...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-16

    ... as supplemental information on a proposed electrical transmission line required to power the proposed... proposed uranium enrichment facility. Specifically, AES proposes to use gas centrifuge technology to enrich...; and (3) alternative technologies for uranium enrichment. These alternatives were eliminated from...

  13. "I Have a Hippopotamus!": Preparing Effective Early Childhood Environmental Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Torquati, Julia; Leeper-Miller, Jennifer; Hamel, Erin; Hong, Soo-Young; Sarver, Susan; Rupiper, Michelle

    2017-01-01

    This article describes an early childhood teacher-preparation program that infuses environmental education and nature experiences into courses, practicum, and student-teaching experiences. Program philosophy, pedagogy, materials, and methods are described and linked to the Early Childhood Environmental Education Programs: Guidelines for…

  14. Responding for a conditioned reinforcer or unconditioned sensory reinforcer in mice: interactions with environmental enrichment, social isolation, and monoamine reuptake inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Browne, Caleb J; Fletcher, Paul J; Zeeb, Fiona D

    2016-03-01

    Environmental factors influence the etiology of many psychiatric disorders. Likewise, environmental factors can alter processes central to motivation. Therefore, motivational deficits present in many disorders may be influenced by early life environmental conditions. We examined whether housing animals in different environmental conditions influenced the ability of sensory stimuli to acquire incentive value and whether elevated monoamine activity altered responsing for these stimuli. Isolation-housed (IH), pair-housed (PH), and environmentally enriched (EE) male C57BL/6N mice were examined in tests of responding for a conditioned reinforcer (CRf) or an unconditioned sensory reinforcer (USRf). The CRf was previously paired with saccharin delivery through Pavlovian conditioning, while the USRf was not conditioned with a reward. Following baseline tests of responding for the CRf or USRf, the effects of elevated monoamine activity were examined. At baseline, PH and EE mice responded similarly for the CRf or USRf. IH mice responded more for the CRf but exhibited slower acquisition of responding for the USRf. Administration of citalopram, a serotonin transporter blocker, or atomoxetine, a norepinephrine transporter blocker, decreased responding for the CRf and USRf in all groups. The dopamine transporter blocker GBR 12909 generally increased responding for the CRf and USRf, but further analysis revealed enhanced responding for both reinforcers only in EE mice. Baseline incentive motivation is strongly influenced by the social component of housing conditions. Furthermore, environmental enrichment increased the sensitivity to elevated dopamine activity, while acute elevations in serotonin and norepinephrine inhibit incentive motivation irrespective of housing condition.

  15. Meteoritic Evidence for Multiple Early Enriched Reservoirs in the Martian Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armytage, R. M. G.; Debaille, V.; Brandon, A. D.; Agee, C. B.

    2018-05-01

    From isotopic systematics, the martian crustal reservoir represented by NWA 7034 cannot be the enriched end-member for the shergottites. This suggests multiple enriched reservoirs in the martian mantle formed by several differentiation events.

  16. Supporting Early Childhood Environmental Education through the Natural Start Alliance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merrick, Christy; Braus, Judy

    2013-01-01

    The Natural Start Alliance is a new initiative of the North American Association for Environmental Education. Natural Start was created to support and expand early childhood environmental education (ECEE) by creating a network of organizations, educators, parents, and others who care about using environmental education to support young children's…

  17. Cumulative Effects of Nutrient Enrichment and Elevated Temperature Compromise the Early Life History Stages of the Coral Acropora tenuis

    PubMed Central

    Noonan, Sam H. C.; Willis, Bette L.; Fabricius, Katharina E.; Negri, Andrew P.

    2016-01-01

    Inshore coral reefs are experiencing the combined pressures of excess nutrient availability associated with coastal activities and warming seawater temperatures. Both pressures are known to have detrimental effects on the early life history stages of hard corals, but studies of their combined effects on early demographic stages are lacking. We conducted a series of experiments to test the combined effects of nutrient enrichment (three levels) and elevated seawater temperature (up to five levels) on early life history stages of the inshore coral Acropora tenuis, a common species in the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea. Gamete fertilization, larval survivorship and larval settlement were all significantly reduced as temperature increased, but only fertilization was further affected by simultaneous nutrient enrichment. Combined high temperatures and nutrient enrichment affected fertilization in an additive manner, whereas embryo abnormalities increased synergistically. Higher than normal temperatures (32°C) increased coral juvenile growth rates 1.6-fold, but mortality also increased by 50%. The co-occurrence of nutrient enrichment with high temperatures reduced juvenile mortality to 36%, ameliorating temperature stress (antagonistic interaction). Overall, the types of effect (additive vs synergistic or antagonistic) and their magnitude varied among life stages. Gamete and embryo stages were more affected by temperature stress and, in some cases, also by nutrient enrichment than juveniles. The data suggest that coastal runoff events might exacerbate the impacts of warming temperatures on fertilization if these events co-occur during corals spawning. The cumulative impacts of simultaneous exposure to nutrient enrichment and elevated temperatures over all early life history stages increases the likelihood for failure of larval supply and recruitment for this coral species. Our results suggest that improving the water quality of river discharges into coastal areas might help to

  18. Concurrent formation of supermassive stars and globular clusters: implications for early self-enrichment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gieles, Mark; Charbonnel, Corinne; Krause, Martin G. H.; Hénault-Brunet, Vincent; Agertz, Oscar; Lamers, Henny J. G. L. M.; Bastian, Nathan; Gualandris, Alessia; Zocchi, Alice; Petts, James A.

    2018-04-01

    We present a model for the concurrent formation of globular clusters (GCs) and supermassive stars (SMSs, ≳ 103 M⊙) to address the origin of the HeCNONaMgAl abundance anomalies in GCs. GCs form in converging gas flows and accumulate low-angular momentum gas, which accretes onto protostars. This leads to an adiabatic contraction of the cluster and an increase of the stellar collision rate. A SMS can form via runaway collisions if the cluster reaches sufficiently high density before two-body relaxation halts the contraction. This condition is met if the number of stars ≳ 106 and the gas accretion rate ≳ 105 M⊙/Myr, reminiscent of GC formation in high gas-density environments, such as - but not restricted to - the early Universe. The strong SMS wind mixes with the inflowing pristine gas, such that the protostars accrete diluted hot-hydrogen burning yields of the SMS. Because of continuous rejuvenation, the amount of processed material liberated by the SMS can be an order of magnitude higher than its maximum mass. This `conveyor-belt' production of hot-hydrogen burning products provides a solution to the mass budget problem that plagues other scenarios. Additionally, the liberated material is mildly enriched in helium and relatively rich in other hot-hydrogen burning products, in agreement with abundances of GCs today. Finally, we find a super-linear scaling between the amount of processed material and cluster mass, providing an explanation for the observed increase of the fraction of processed material with GC mass. We discuss open questions of this new GC enrichment scenario and propose observational tests.

  19. Environmental Enrichment Mitigates Detrimental Cognitive Effects of Ketogenic Diet in Weanling Rats.

    PubMed

    Scichilone, John M; Yarraguntla, Kalyan; Charalambides, Ana; Harney, Jacob P; Butler, David

    2016-09-01

    For decades, the ketogenic diet has been an effective treatment of intractable epilepsy in children. Childhood epilepsy is pharmacoresistant in 25-40 % of patients taking the current prescribed medications. Chronic seizure activity has been linked to deficits in cognitive function and behavioral problems which negatively affect the learning abilities of the child. Recent studies suggest the ketogenic diet (KD), a high fat with low carbohydrate and protein diet, has adverse effects on cognition in weanling rats. The diet reduces circulating glucose levels to where energy metabolism is converted from glycolysis to burning fat and generating ketone bodies which has been suggested as a highly efficient source of energy for the brain. In contrast, when weanling rats are placed in an enriched environment, they exhibit increased spatial learning, memory, and neurogenesis. Thus, this study was done to determine if weanling rats being administered a KD in an environmental enrichment (EE) would still exhibit the negative cognitive effects of the diet previously observed. The present study suggests that an altered environment is capable of reducing the cognitive deficits in weanling rats administered a KD. Learning was improved with an EE. The effect of diet and environment on anxiety and depression suggests a significant reduction in anxiety with enrichment rearing. Interestingly, circulating energy substrate levels were increased in the EE groups along with brain-derived neurotrophic factor despite the least changes in weight gain. In light of numerous studies using KDs that seemingly have adverse effects on cognition, KD-induced reductions in excitotoxic events would not necessarily eliminate that negative aspect of seizures.

  20. Early chemo-dynamical evolution of dwarf galaxies deduced from enrichment of r-process elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirai, Yutaka; Ishimaru, Yuhri; Saitoh, Takayuki R.; Fujii, Michiko S.; Hidaka, Jun; Kajino, Toshitaka

    2017-04-01

    The abundance of elements synthesized by the rapid neutron-capture process (r-process elements) of extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars in the Local Group galaxies gives us clues to clarify the early evolutionary history of the Milky Way halo. The Local Group dwarf galaxies would have similarly evolved with building blocks of the Milky Way halo. However, how the chemo-dynamical evolution of the building blocks affects the abundance of r-process elements is not yet clear. In this paper, we perform a series of simulations using dwarf galaxy models with various dynamical times and total mass, which determine star formation histories. We find that galaxies with dynamical times longer than 100 Myr have star formation rates less than 10-3 M⊙ yr-1 and slowly enrich metals in their early phase. These galaxies can explain the observed large scatters of r-process abundance in EMP stars in the Milky Way halo regardless of their total mass. On the other hand, the first neutron star merger appears at a higher metallicity in galaxies with a dynamical time shorter than typical neutron star merger times. The scatters of r-process elements mainly come from the inhomogeneity of the metals in the interstellar medium whereas the scatters of α-elements are mostly due to the difference in the yield of each supernova. Our results demonstrate that the future observations of r-process elements in EMP stars will be able to constrain the early chemo-dynamical evolution of the Local Group galaxies.

  1. Environmental enrichment improves learning and memory and long-term potentiation in young adult rats through a mechanism requiring mGluR5 signaling and sustained activation of p70s6k.

    PubMed

    Hullinger, Rikki; O'Riordan, Kenneth; Burger, Corinna

    2015-11-01

    Previous studies from our lab have demonstrated that mild cognitive impairments identified early in life are predictive of cognitive deficits that develop with age, suggesting that enhancements in cognition at an early age can provide a buffer against age-related cognitive decline. Environmental enrichment has been shown to improve learning and memory in the rodent, but the impact of enrichment on synaptic plasticity and the molecular mechanisms behind enrichment are not completely understood. To address these unresolved issues, we have housed 2-month old rats in environmentally enriched (EE), socially enriched (SE), or standard housing (SC) and conducted tests of learning and memory formation at various time intervals. Here we demonstrate that animals that have been exposed to one month of social or environmental enrichment demonstrate enhanced learning and memory relative to standard housed controls. However, we have found that after 4months EE animals perform better than both SE and SC groups and demonstrate an enhanced hippocampal LTP. Our results demonstrate that this LTP is dependent on mGluR5 signaling, activation of ERK and mTOR signaling cascades, and sustained phosphorylation of p70s6 kinase, thus providing a potential target mechanism for future studies of cognitive enhancement in the rodent. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Spatial distribution, enrichment, and source of environmentally important elements in Batticaloa lagoon, Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Adikaram, Madurya; Pitawala, Amarasooriya; Ishiga, Hiroaki; Jayawardana, Daham

    2017-01-01

    The present paper is the first documentation of distribution and contamination status of environmentally important elements of superficial sediments in the Batticaloa lagoon that is connected to the largest bay of the world. Surface sediment samples were collected from 34 sites covering all over the lagoon. Concentrations of elements such as As, Cr, Cu, Fe, Nb, Ni, Pb, Sc, Sr, Th, V, Y, Zn, and Zr were measured by X-ray florescence analysis. Geochemically, the lagoon has three different zones that were influenced mainly by fresh water sources, marine fronts, and intermediate mixing zones. The marine sediment quality standards indicate that Zr and Th values are exceeded throughout the lagoon. According to the freshwater sediment quality standards, Cr levels of all sampling sites exceed the threshold effect level (TEL) and 17 % of them are even above the probable effect level (PEL). Most sampling sites of the channel discharging areas show minor enrichment of Cu, Ni, and Zn with respect to the TEL. Contamination indices show that the lagoon mouth area is enriched with As. Statistical analysis implies that discharges from agricultural channel and marine fluxes of the lagoon effects on the spatial distribution of measured elements. Further research is required to understand the rate of contamination in the studied marine system.

  3. [Nicotine and animal models: what does the environmental enrichment paradigm tell us?].

    PubMed

    Mesa-Gresa, Patricia; Pérez-Martínez, Asunción; Redolat-Iborra, Rosa

    2012-01-01

    The Environmental Enrichment (EE) paradigm is a housing condition which aims is to provide physical, cognitive and sensorial stimulation to rodents. Animals are housed in larger cages containing inanimate objects such as tunnels, toys and running wheels. The main aim of the current work is to tackle the arguments which suggest that EE may diminish vulnerability to developing addiction to nicotine and other drugs of abuse and to review recent experimental studies performed in relation to this subject. We discuss the major changes induced by EE at physical, neurobiological and behavioral levels and review the results of recent studies which indicate that EE promotes both neurochemical (potentiation of the increase in dopamine release induced by nicotine in the brain cortex) and behavioral changes (increased ability to discriminate the presence of reward and decreased impulsivity), thus supporting the hypothesis put forward. In light of these results, EE can be proposed as a model for the study of vulnerability to addiction to different drugs of abuse, including cocaine and nicotine, though further studies are needed in order to establish the neurobiological implications of the effects of exposure to enriched environments and their possible relationship with changes in brain reward systems.

  4. Induction of prolonged natural lifespans in mice exposed to acoustic environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Yuichi; Kawai, Norie; Ueno, Osamu; Matsumoto, Yui; Oohashi, Tsutomu; Honda, Manabu

    2018-05-21

    We investigated the effect of acoustic environmental enrichment (EE) on the lifespans and behaviours of mice to the end of their natural lifespan in different acoustic environments. Acoustic EE induced a significantly prolonged natural lifespan (nearly 17% longer) and was associated with increased voluntary movements. However, no correlation between lifespan and voluntary movements was detected, suggesting that increased voluntary movements are not a primary cause of lifespan prolongation. Analyses of individual differences in lifespan demonstrated that lifespan extension induced by acoustic EE could be related to changes in social relationships (e.g., reduction of social conflict) among individuals kept within a cage. Therefore, an acoustic component may be an important factor inducing the positive effects of EE.

  5. GAME (Goals - Activity - Motor Enrichment): protocol of a single blind randomised controlled trial of motor training, parent education and environmental enrichment for infants at high risk of cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Catherine; Novak, Iona; Dale, Russell C; Guzzetta, Andrea; Badawi, Nadia

    2014-10-07

    Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability of childhood and early detection is possible using evidence based assessments. Systematic reviews indicate early intervention trials rarely demonstrate efficacy for improving motor outcomes but environmental enrichment interventions appear promising. This study is built on a previous pilot study and has been designed to assess the effectiveness of a goal - oriented motor training and enrichment intervention programme, "GAME", on the motor outcomes of infants at very high risk of cerebral palsy (CP) compared with standard community based care. A two group, single blind randomised controlled trial (n = 30) will be conducted. Eligible infants are those diagnosed with CP or designated "at high risk of CP" on the basis of the General Movements Assessment and/or abnormal neuroimaging. A physiotherapist and occupational therapist will deliver home-based GAME intervention at least fortnightly until the infant's first birthday. The intervention aims to optimize motor function and engage parents in developmental activities aimed at enriching the home learning environment. Primary endpoint measures will be taken 16 weeks after intervention commences with the secondary endpoint at 12 months and 24 months corrected age. The primary outcome measure will be the Peabody Developmental Motor Scale second edition. Secondary outcomes measures include the Gross Motor Function Measure, Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development - Infant Scale, and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Parent well-being will be monitored using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale. This paper presents the background, design and intervention protocol of a randomised trial of a goal driven, motor learning approach with customised environmental interventions and parental education for young infants at high risk of cerebral palsy. This trial is registered on the Australian

  6. Comparative analysis of metagenomes from three methanogenic hydrocarbon-degrading enrichment cultures with 41 environmental samples.

    PubMed

    Tan, Boonfei; Fowler, S Jane; Abu Laban, Nidal; Dong, Xiaoli; Sensen, Christoph W; Foght, Julia; Gieg, Lisa M

    2015-09-01

    Methanogenic hydrocarbon metabolism is a key process in subsurface oil reservoirs and hydrocarbon-contaminated environments and thus warrants greater understanding to improve current technologies for fossil fuel extraction and bioremediation. In this study, three hydrocarbon-degrading methanogenic cultures established from two geographically distinct environments and incubated with different hydrocarbon substrates (added as single hydrocarbons or as mixtures) were subjected to metagenomic and 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing to test whether these differences affect the genetic potential and composition of the communities. Enrichment of different putative hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria in each culture appeared to be substrate dependent, though all cultures contained both acetate- and H2-utilizing methanogens. Despite differing hydrocarbon substrates and inoculum sources, all three cultures harbored genes for hydrocarbon activation by fumarate addition (bssA, assA, nmsA) and carboxylation (abcA, ancA), along with those for associated downstream pathways (bbs, bcr, bam), though the cultures incubated with hydrocarbon mixtures contained a broader diversity of fumarate addition genes. A comparative metagenomic analysis of the three cultures showed that they were functionally redundant despite their enrichment backgrounds, sharing multiple features associated with syntrophic hydrocarbon conversion to methane. In addition, a comparative analysis of the culture metagenomes with those of 41 environmental samples (containing varying proportions of methanogens) showed that the three cultures were functionally most similar to each other but distinct from other environments, including hydrocarbon-impacted environments (for example, oil sands tailings ponds and oil-affected marine sediments). This study provides a basis for understanding key functions and environmental selection in methanogenic hydrocarbon-associated communities.

  7. Enriched dairy fat matrix diet prevents early life lipopolysaccharide-induced spatial memory impairment at adulthood.

    PubMed

    Dinel, A L; Rey, C; Baudry, C; Fressange-Mazda, C; Le Ruyet, P; Nadjar, A; Pallet, P; Joffre, C; Layé, S

    2016-10-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential fatty acids, which are critical for brain development and later life cognitive functions. The main brain PUFAs are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for the n-3 family and arachidonic acid (ARA) for the n-6 family, which are provided to the post-natal brain by breast milk or infant formula. Recently, the use of dairy lipids (DL) in replacement of vegetable lipids (VL) was revealed to potently promote the accretion of DHA in the developing brain. Brain DHA, in addition to be a key component of brain development, display potent anti-inflammatory activities, which protect the brain from adverse inflammatory events. In this work, we evaluated the protective effect of partial replacement of VL by DL, supplemented or not with DHA and ARA, on post-natal inflammation and its consequence on memory. Mice were fed with diets poor in vegetal n-3 PUFA (Def VL), balanced in vegetal n-3/n-6 PUFA (Bal VL), balanced in dairy lipids (Bal DL) or enriched in DHA and ARA (Supp VL; Supp DL) from the first day of gestation until adulthood. At post-natal day 14 (PND14), pups received a single administration of the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and brain cytokine expression, microglia phenotype and neurogenesis were measured. In a second set of experiments, memory and neurogenesis were measured at adulthood. Overall, our data showed that lipid quality of the diet modulates early life LPS effect on microglia phenotype, brain cytokine expression and neurogenesis at PND14 and memory at adulthood. In particular, Bal DL diet protects from the adverse effect of early life LPS exposure on PND14 neurogenesis and adult spatial memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Hf and Nd Isotope Evidence for Production of an Incompatible Trace Element Enriched Crustal Reservoir in Early Earth (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandon, A. D.; Debaille, V.; Lapen, T. J.

    2010-12-01

    The final significant stage of accretion of the Earth was likely a collision between proto-Earth and a Mars sized impactor that formed the Moon. This event is thought to have produced enough thermal energy to melt all or most of the Earth, with a consequent magma ocean (MO). During subsequent cooling, the Earth would have formed its protocrust and corresponding mantle lithosphere, consisting of solidified basalt-komatiitic melt, in combination with buoyant cumulates and late stage residual melts from the MO. Relative to the convecting mantle, portions of this protolithosphere are likely to have been enriched in incompatible trace elements (ITE) in sufficient quantities to contain a significant amount of the bulk Earth’s budget for rare earth elements, U, Th, and Hf. If the protolithosphere was negatively buoyant, it may have overturned at or near the final stages of MO crystallization and a significant portion of that material may have been transported into the deep mantle where it resided and remixed into the convecting mantle over Earth history [1,2]. If the protolithosphere remained positively buoyant, its crust would have likely begun to erode from surface processes, and subsequently recycled back into the mantle over time as sediment and altered crust, once a subduction mechanism arose. The Nd and Hf isotopic compositions of Earth’s earliest rocks support the idea that an early-formed ITE-enriched reservoir was produced. The maxima in 142Nd/144Nd for 3.85 to 3.64 Ga rocks from Isua, Greenland decreases from +20 ppm to +12 ppm relative to the present day mantle value, respectively [3]. This indicates mixing of an early-formed ITE enriched reservoir back into the convecting mantle. In addition, zircons from the 3.1 Ga Jack Hills conglomerate indicate that material with an enriched 176Lu/177Hf of ~0.02 and an age of 4.4 Ga or greater was present at the Earth’s surface over the first 2 Ga of Earth history, supporting the scenario of a positively buoyant

  9. Early environmental effects of the terminal Cretaceous impact

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilmour, Iain; Wolbach, Wendy S.; Anders, Edward

    1988-01-01

    The environmental aftereffects of the terminal Cretaceous impact are examined on the basis of the carbon and nitrogen geochemistry in the basal layer of the K-T boundary clay at Woodside Creek, New Zealand. It is shown that organic carbon and nitrogen at this level are enriched by 15 and 20 times Cretaceous values, respectively. Also, it is found that the N abundances and, to a lesser extent, the organic C abundances are closely correlated with the Ir abundances. The changes in carbon and nitrogen content through the basal layer are outlined, focusing on the possible environmental conditions which could have caused enrichment. In addition, consideration is given to the soot and pyrotoxin content. Possible scenarios for the K-T event and the importance of selective extinction are discussed.

  10. Effects of environmental enrichment on extinction and reinstatement of amphetamine self-administration and sucrose-maintained responding.

    PubMed

    Stairs, Dustin J; Klein, Emily D; Bardo, Michael T

    2006-11-01

    The current experiments aimed to determine whether differential rearing alters extinction and/or reinstatement of amphetamine self-administration or sucrose-maintained responding. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were raised in either an enriched condition or an isolated condition. Rats were then trained to lever press on a continuous reinforcement schedule across either 15 daily amphetamine self-administration sessions or 15 sucrose-reinforced sessions, followed by 10 sessions of extinction. After the extinction sessions, priming doses of amphetamine (0, 0.25 or 1.0 mg/kg) were administered 15 min before the session, or sucrose (one or 10 pellets) was delivered non-contingently at the beginning of the session. Enriched condition rats showed greater extinction for amphetamine and sucrose-maintained responding than isolated condition rats. When primed with amphetamine, isolated condition rats reinstated responding following 0.25 mg/kg of amphetamine, whereas enriched condition rats only reinstated responding after 1.0 mg/kg of amphetamine. Isolated condition rats failed to reinstate responding following sucrose delivery, while enriched condition rats reinstated responding following the delivery of 10 sucrose pellets. These results indicate that environmental enrichment enhanced the extinction of both amphetamine and sucrose-maintained responding. Environmental enrichment also raised the reinstatement threshold specific to the amphetamine prime, suggesting a reduction in the incentive motivational effect of amphetamine.

  11. Beneficial effects of environmental enrichment and food entrainment in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Skillings, Elizabeth A; Wood, Nigel I; Morton, A Jennifer

    2014-09-01

    In addition to their cognitive and motor deficits, R6/2 mice show a progressive disintegration in circadian rhythms that mirrors the problems associated with sleep-wake disturbances experienced by patients with Huntington's disease (HD). It has been shown previously that motor and cognitive performance, as well as survival, can be improved in transgenic mouse models of HD through the provision of environmental enrichment. We compared the effect of two different overnight entrainment paradigms presented either separately or in combination. The first was environmental enrichment, the second was temporal food-entrainment. Environmental enrichment was provided in the dark period (the natural active period for mice) in the form of access to a Perspex playground containing running wheels, tunnels, climbing frame, ropes and chew blocks. Food entrainment was imposed by allowing access to food only during the dark period. We assessed a number of different aspects of function in the mice, measuring general health (by SHIRPA testing, body temperature and body weight measurements), cognitive performance in the touchscreen and locomotor behavior in the open field. There were no significant differences in cognitive performance between groups on different schedules. Environmental enrichment delayed the onset of general health deterioration, while food entrainment slowed the loss of body weight, aided the maintenance of body temperature and improved locomotor behavior. Effects were limited however, and in combination had deleterious effects on survival. Our results support previous studies showing that environmental enrichment can be beneficial and might be used to enhance the quality of life of HD patients. However, improvements are selective and 'enrichment' per se is likely to only be useful as an adjunct to a more direct therapy.

  12. Alleviation of chronic neuropathic pain by environmental enrichment in mice well after the establishment of chronic pain.

    PubMed

    Vachon, Pascal; Millecamps, Magali; Low, Lucie; Thompsosn, Scott J; Pailleux, Floriane; Beaudry, Francis; Bushnell, Catherine M; Stone, Laura S

    2013-06-07

    In animal models, the impact of social and environmental manipulations on chronic pain have been investigated in short term studies where enrichment was implemented prior to or concurrently with the injury. The focus of this study was to evaluate the impact of environmental enrichment or impoverishment in mice three months after induction of chronic neuropathic pain. Thirty-four CD-1 seven to eight week-old male mice were used. Mice underwent surgery on the left leg under isoflurane anesthesia to induce the spared nerve injury model of neuropathic pain or sham condition. Mice were then randomly assigned to one of four groups: nerve injury with enriched environment (n = 9), nerve injury with impoverished environment (n = 8), sham surgery with enriched environment (n = 9), or sham surgery with impoverished environment (n = 8). The effects of environmental manipulations on mechanical (von Frey filaments) heat (hot plate) and cold (acetone test) cutaneous hypersensitivities, motor impairment (Rotarod), spontaneous exploratory behavior (open field test), anxiety-like behavior (elevated plus maze) and depression-like phenotype (tail suspension test) were assessed in neuropathic and control mice 1 and 2 months post-environmental change. Finally, the effect of the environment on spinal expression of the pro-nociceptive neuropeptides substance P and CGRP form the lumbar spinal cord collected at the end of the study was evaluated by tandem liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Environmental enrichment attenuated nerve injury-induced hypersensitivity to mechanical and cold stimuli. In contrast, an impoverished environment exacerbated mechanical hypersensitivity. No antidepressant effects of enrichment were observed in animals with chronic neuropathic pain. Finally, environmental enrichment resulted lower SP and CGRP concentrations in neuropathic animals compared to impoverishment. These effects were all observed in animals that had been neuropathic for

  13. Role of Hypothalamic VGF in Energy Balance and Metabolic Adaption to Environmental Enrichment in Mice.

    PubMed

    Foglesong, Grant D; Huang, Wei; Liu, Xianglan; Slater, Andrew M; Siu, Jason; Yildiz, Vedat; Salton, Stephen R J; Cao, Lei

    2016-03-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE), a housing condition providing complex physical, social, and cognitive stimulation, leads to improved metabolic health and resistance to diet-induced obesity and cancer. One underlying mechanism is the activation of the hypothalamic-sympathoneural-adipocyte axis with hypothalamic brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as the key mediator. VGF, a peptide precursor particularly abundant in the hypothalamus, was up-regulated by EE. Overexpressing BDNF or acute injection of BDNF protein to the hypothalamus up-regulated VGF, whereas suppressing BDNF signaling down-regulated VGF expression. Moreover, hypothalamic VGF expression was regulated by leptin, melanocortin receptor agonist, and food deprivation mostly paralleled to BDNF expression. Recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer of Cre recombinase to floxed VGF mice specifically decreased VGF expression in the hypothalamus. In contrast to the lean and hypermetabolic phenotype of homozygous germline VGF knockout mice, specific knockdown of hypothalamic VGF in male adult mice led to increased adiposity, decreased core body temperature, reduced energy expenditure, and impaired glucose tolerance, as well as disturbance of molecular features of brown and white adipose tissues without effects on food intake. However, VGF knockdown failed to block the EE-induced BDNF up-regulation or decrease of adiposity indicating a minor role of VGF in the hypothalamic-sympathoneural-adipocyte axis. Taken together, our results suggest hypothalamic VGF responds to environmental demands and plays an important role in energy balance and glycemic control likely acting in the melanocortin pathway downstream of BDNF.

  14. Role of Hypothalamic VGF in Energy Balance and Metabolic Adaption to Environmental Enrichment in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Foglesong, Grant D.; Huang, Wei; Liu, Xianglan; Slater, Andrew M.; Siu, Jason; Yildiz, Vedat; Salton, Stephen R. J.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE), a housing condition providing complex physical, social, and cognitive stimulation, leads to improved metabolic health and resistance to diet-induced obesity and cancer. One underlying mechanism is the activation of the hypothalamic-sympathoneural-adipocyte axis with hypothalamic brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as the key mediator. VGF, a peptide precursor particularly abundant in the hypothalamus, was up-regulated by EE. Overexpressing BDNF or acute injection of BDNF protein to the hypothalamus up-regulated VGF, whereas suppressing BDNF signaling down-regulated VGF expression. Moreover, hypothalamic VGF expression was regulated by leptin, melanocortin receptor agonist, and food deprivation mostly paralleled to BDNF expression. Recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer of Cre recombinase to floxed VGF mice specifically decreased VGF expression in the hypothalamus. In contrast to the lean and hypermetabolic phenotype of homozygous germline VGF knockout mice, specific knockdown of hypothalamic VGF in male adult mice led to increased adiposity, decreased core body temperature, reduced energy expenditure, and impaired glucose tolerance, as well as disturbance of molecular features of brown and white adipose tissues without effects on food intake. However, VGF knockdown failed to block the EE-induced BDNF up-regulation or decrease of adiposity indicating a minor role of VGF in the hypothalamic-sympathoneural-adipocyte axis. Taken together, our results suggest hypothalamic VGF responds to environmental demands and plays an important role in energy balance and glycemic control likely acting in the melanocortin pathway downstream of BDNF. PMID:26730934

  15. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Early Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Byrne, Brian; Olson, Richard K.; Samuelsson, Stefan; Wadsworth, Sally; Corley, Robin; DeFries, John C.; Willcutt, Erik

    2006-01-01

    Prereading and early reading skills of preschool twin children in Australia, Scandinavia and the United States were explored in a genetically sensitive design (max. N=627 preschool pairs and 422 kindergarten pairs). Analyses indicated a strong genetic influence on preschool phonological awareness, rapid naming and verbal memory. Print awareness,…

  16. Environmental enrichment alters protein expression as well as the proteomic response to cocaine in rat nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Lichti, Cheryl F.; Fan, Xiuzhen; English, Robert D.; Zhang, Yafang; Li, Dingge; Kong, Fanping; Sinha, Mala; Andersen, Clark R.; Spratt, Heidi; Luxon, Bruce A.; Green, Thomas A.

    2014-01-01

    Prior research demonstrated that environmental enrichment creates individual differences in behavior leading to a protective addiction phenotype in rats. Understanding the mechanisms underlying this phenotype will guide selection of targets for much-needed novel pharmacotherapeutics. The current study investigates differences in proteome expression in the nucleus accumbens of enriched and isolated rats and the proteomic response to cocaine self-administration using a liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS) technique to quantify 1917 proteins. Results of complementary Ingenuity Pathways Analyses (IPA) and gene set enrichment analyses (GSEA), both performed using protein quantitative data, demonstrate that cocaine increases vesicular transporters for dopamine and glutamate as well as increasing proteins in the RhoA pathway. Further, cocaine regulates proteins related to ERK, CREB and AKT signaling. Environmental enrichment altered expression of a large number of proteins implicated in a diverse number of neuronal functions (e.g., energy production, mRNA splicing, and ubiquitination), molecular cascades (e.g., protein kinases), psychiatric disorders (e.g., mood disorders), and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Huntington's and Alzheimer's diseases). Upregulation of energy metabolism components in EC rats was verified using RNA sequencing. Most of the biological functions and pathways listed above were also identified in the Cocaine X Enrichment interaction analysis, providing clear evidence that enriched and isolated rats respond quite differently to cocaine exposure. The overall impression of the current results is that enriched saline-administering rats have a unique proteomic complement compared to enriched cocaine-administering rats as well as saline and cocaine-taking isolated rats. These results identify possible mechanisms of the protective phenotype and provide fertile soil for developing novel pharmacotherapeutics. Proteomics data are available via

  17. Individual differences in the forced swimming test and the effect of environmental enrichment: searching for an interaction.

    PubMed

    Sequeira-Cordero, A; Mora-Gallegos, A; Cuenca-Berger, P; Fornaguera-Trías, J

    2014-04-18

    Animals with low and high immobility in the forced swimming test (FST) differ in a number of neurobehavioral factors. A growing body of evidence suggests that the exposure to enriched environments mediates a number of changes in the brain. Therefore, we studied if animals' individuality can somehow modulate the response to environmental stimuli. Male rats were classified according to their immobility time scores in the FST test session as animals with low, medium or high immobility. Then, rats from groups with low and high immobility were randomly distributed in two groups to be reared in different housing conditions (i.e., enriched and standard conditions) during 8weeks. Animals were subjected to the open field test (OFT) before and 6weeks after the start of housing protocol. Rats with high immobility in the FST also showed high ambulation and high rearing time in the first OFT. Such findings were not observed in the second OFT. Conversely, an effect of environmental enrichment was found in the second OFT where enriched animals showed lower ambulation and higher grooming time than the standard control group. Rats were sacrificed after the housing protocol and neurochemical content and/or gene expression were studied in three different brain regions: the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus and the nucleus accumbens. Rats with low immobility showed significantly higher accumbal 5-HT levels than animals with high immobility, whereas no neurochemical differences were observed between enriched and standard animals. Regarding expression data, however, an effect of enrichment on accumbal corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and its receptor 1 (CRFR1) levels was observed, and such effect depended on immobility levels. Thus, our results not only allowed us to identify a number of differences between animals with low and high immobility or animals housed in standard and enriched conditions, but also suggested that animals' individuality modulated in some way the response to

  18. Elephant Management in North American Zoos: Environmental Enrichment, Feeding, Exercise, and Training.

    PubMed

    Greco, Brian J; Meehan, Cheryl L; Miller, Lance J; Shepherdson, David J; Morfeld, Kari A; Andrews, Jeff; Baker, Anne M; Carlstead, Kathy; Mench, Joy A

    2016-01-01

    The management of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants in zoos involves a range of practices including feeding, exercise, training, and environmental enrichment. These practices are necessary to meet the elephants' nutritional, healthcare, and husbandry needs. However, these practices are not standardized, resulting in likely variation among zoos as well as differences in the way they are applied to individual elephants within a zoo. To characterize elephant management in North America, we collected survey data from zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, developed 26 variables, generated population level descriptive statistics, and analyzed them to identify differences attributable to sex and species. Sixty-seven zoos submitted surveys describing the management of 224 elephants and the training experiences of 227 elephants. Asian elephants spent more time managed (defined as interacting directly with staff) than Africans (mean time managed: Asians = 56.9%; Africans = 48.6%; p<0.001), and managed time increased by 20.2% for every year of age for both species. Enrichment, feeding, and exercise programs were evaluated using diversity indices, with mean scores across zoos in the midrange for these measures. There were an average of 7.2 feedings every 24-hour period, with only 1.2 occurring during the nighttime. Feeding schedules were predictable at 47.5% of zoos. We also calculated the relative use of rewarding and aversive techniques employed during training interactions. The population median was seven on a scale from one (representing only aversive stimuli) to nine (representing only rewarding stimuli). The results of our study provide essential information for understanding management variation that could be relevant to welfare. Furthermore, the variables we created have been used in subsequent elephant welfare analyses.

  19. Elephant Management in North American Zoos: Environmental Enrichment, Feeding, Exercise, and Training

    PubMed Central

    Greco, Brian J.; Meehan, Cheryl L.; Miller, Lance J.; Shepherdson, David J.; Morfeld, Kari A.; Andrews, Jeff; Baker, Anne M.; Carlstead, Kathy; Mench, Joy A.

    2016-01-01

    The management of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants in zoos involves a range of practices including feeding, exercise, training, and environmental enrichment. These practices are necessary to meet the elephants’ nutritional, healthcare, and husbandry needs. However, these practices are not standardized, resulting in likely variation among zoos as well as differences in the way they are applied to individual elephants within a zoo. To characterize elephant management in North America, we collected survey data from zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, developed 26 variables, generated population level descriptive statistics, and analyzed them to identify differences attributable to sex and species. Sixty-seven zoos submitted surveys describing the management of 224 elephants and the training experiences of 227 elephants. Asian elephants spent more time managed (defined as interacting directly with staff) than Africans (mean time managed: Asians = 56.9%; Africans = 48.6%; p<0.001), and managed time increased by 20.2% for every year of age for both species. Enrichment, feeding, and exercise programs were evaluated using diversity indices, with mean scores across zoos in the midrange for these measures. There were an average of 7.2 feedings every 24-hour period, with only 1.2 occurring during the nighttime. Feeding schedules were predictable at 47.5% of zoos. We also calculated the relative use of rewarding and aversive techniques employed during training interactions. The population median was seven on a scale from one (representing only aversive stimuli) to nine (representing only rewarding stimuli). The results of our study provide essential information for understanding management variation that could be relevant to welfare. Furthermore, the variables we created have been used in subsequent elephant welfare analyses. PMID:27414654

  20. Porous concrete block as an environmental enrichment device increases activity of laying hens in cages.

    PubMed

    Holcman, A; Gorjanc, G; Stuhec, I

    2008-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to consider the influence of simple and cheap environmental enrichment such as porous concrete on the behavior of laying hens in conventional cages. Forty brown laying hens were housed in individual wire mesh cages: 20 in experimental cages with porous concrete block provided for pecking and 20 in a control group without concrete block provided. Porous concrete block (5 cm length x 5 cm width x 5 cm height) was mounted on the side wall at the height of the hen's head. Behavior was studied from 42 to 48 wk of age. A group of 8 hens was filmed for 24 h, and the camera was moved each day so that all 40 hens were recorded over 5 d each wk. Videotaping was performed in wk 1, 3, 5, and 7 of the experiment. States (long-term behavior) were observed with 5-min interval recording (feeding, preening, resting, and remaining inactive), whereas events (short-term activities) were observed with instantaneous recording (drinking, pecking concrete, pecking neighbors, pecking cage, and attempting to escape). Data were analyzed with generalized linear mixed model with binomial distribution for states, and Poisson distribution for events. Monte Carlo Markov Chain methods were used to estimate model parameters. Because posterior distributions of quantities of interest were skewed, medians and standard errors are reported. Hens in experimental cages were more active in long-term behavior than controls (64.9 +/- 1.9 and 59.3 +/- 1.9% of the light period, respectively). Correspondingly, hens in the control group showed more long-term inactivity. In addition to pecking the porous concrete block, hens in experimental cages also showed other short-term activities with greater frequency (4.10 +/- 0.31 and 3.51 +/- 0.25 events per h, respectively). Our hypothesis that hens in enriched cages would have a greater level of activity was confirmed. Provision of a piece of porous concrete block as a pecking substrate enriched the environment of the birds at negligible

  1. Environmental Enrichment Improves Behavior, Cognition, and Brain Functional Markers in Young Senescence-Accelerated Prone Mice (SAMP8).

    PubMed

    Griñan-Ferré, Christian; Pérez-Cáceres, David; Gutiérrez-Zetina, Sofía Martínez; Camins, Antoni; Palomera-Avalos, Verónica; Ortuño-Sahagún, Daniel; Rodrigo, M Teresa; Pallàs, M

    2016-05-01

    The environment in which organisms live can greatly influence their development. Consequently, environmental enrichment (EE) is progressively recognized as an important component in the improvement of brain function and development. It has been demonstrated that rodents raised under EE conditions exhibit favorable neuroanatomical effects that improve their learning, spatial memory, and behavioral performance. Here, by using senescence-accelerated prone mice (SAMP8) and these as a model of adverse genetic conditions for brain development, we determined the effect of EE by raising these mice during early life under favorable conditions. We found a better generalized performance of SAMP8 under EE in the results of four behavioral and learning tests. In addition, we demonstrated broad molecular correlation in the hippocampus by an increase in NeuN and Ki67 expression, as well as an increase in the expression of neurotrophic factors, such as pleiotrophin (PTN) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), with a parallel decrease in neurodegenerative markers such as GSK3, amyloid-beta precursor protein, and phosphorylated beta-catenin, and a reduction of SBDP120, Bax, GFAP, and interleukin-6 (IL-6), resulting in a neuroprotective panorama. Globally, it can be concluded that EE applied to SAMP8 at young ages resulted in epigenetic regulatory mechanisms that give rise to significant beneficial effects at the molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels during brain development, particularly in the hippocampus.

  2. The power metric: a new statistically robust enrichment-type metric for virtual screening applications with early recovery capability.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Julio Cesar Dias; Dos Santos, Fábio Mendes; Martins-José, Andrelly; Augustyns, Koen; De Winter, Hans

    2017-01-01

    A new metric for the evaluation of model performance in the field of virtual screening and quantitative structure-activity relationship applications is described. This metric has been termed the power metric and is defined as the fraction of the true positive rate divided by the sum of the true positive and false positive rates, for a given cutoff threshold. The performance of this metric is compared with alternative metrics such as the enrichment factor, the relative enrichment factor, the receiver operating curve enrichment factor, the correct classification rate, Matthews correlation coefficient and Cohen's kappa coefficient. The performance of this new metric is found to be quite robust with respect to variations in the applied cutoff threshold and ratio of the number of active compounds to the total number of compounds, and at the same time being sensitive to variations in model quality. It possesses the correct characteristics for its application in early-recognition virtual screening problems.

  3. Effect of environmental enrichment devices on behaviors of single- and group-housed squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spring, S. E.; Clifford, J. O.; Tomko, D. L.

    1997-01-01

    Squirrel monkeys display an interest in novel places, habituate to new situations, and spend most of their daily activity in the wild in large groups engaging in feeding behaviors over a broad area. Captivity limits these behaviors and consequently may disrupt normal social organizations. In captivity, squirrel monkeys may exhibit stereotypical behaviors that are believed to indicate decreased psychologic well-being. When a monkey's behavior can be made to approach that seen in the wild, and stereotypical behaviors are minimal, it is assumed that psychologic well-being is adequate. Environmental enrichment devices have been used to address the Animal Welfare Act requirement that psychologic well-being of captive nonhuman primates be considered. The purpose of the study reported here was to examine whether various environmental enrichment devices improve the psychologic well-being of captive squirrel monkeys. In the study, we used behavioral observation to quantify the effectiveness of several environmental enrichment devices for reducing stereotypical behaviors in squirrel monkeys housed alone or in groups. Analysis of our results revealed that the environmental enrichment devices did not affect the expression of normal or stereotypical behaviors, but that the type of housing did.

  4. Malnutrition and Environmental Enrichment: A Statistical Reappraisal of the Findings of the Adoption Study of Winick et al. (1975).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trueman, Mark

    1985-01-01

    Critically reviews the influential study "Malnutrition and Environmental Enrichment" by Winick et al. (1975) and highlights what are considered to be statistical flaws in its analysis. Data in the classic study of height, weight, and IQ changes in three groups of adopted, malnourished Korean girls are reanalysed and conclusions…

  5. Short-term environmental enrichment exposure induces proliferation and maturation of doublecortin-positive cells in the prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Chunling; Zhang, Mengqi; Shang, Lei; Cynthia, Ngobe Akume; Li, Zhi; Yang, Zhenyu; Chen, Dan; Huang, Jufang; Xiong, Kun

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that doublecortin-positive immature neurons exist predominantly in the superficial layer of the cerebral cortex of adult mammals such as guinea pigs, and these neurons exhibit very weak properties of self-proliferation during adulthood under physiological conditions. To verify whether environmental enrichment has an impact on the proliferation and maturation of these immature neurons in the prefrontal cortex of adult guinea pigs, healthy adult guinea pigs were subjected to short-term environmental enrichment. Animals were allowed to play with various cognitive and physical stimulating objects over a period of 2 weeks, twice per day, for 60 minutes each. Immunofluorescence staining results indicated that the number of doublecortin-positive cells in layer II of the prefrontal cortex was significantly increased after short-term environmental enrichment exposure. In addition, these doublecortin-positive cells co-expressed 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (a marker of cell proliferation), c-Fos (a marker of cell viability) and NeuN (a marker of mature neurons). Experimental findings showed that short-term environmental enrichment can induce proliferation, activation and maturation of doublecortin-positive cells in layer II of the prefrontal cortex of adult guinea pigs. PMID:25206818

  6. Active galactic nuclei feedback, quiescence and circumgalactic medium metal enrichment in early-type galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenreich, Maximilian; Naab, Thorsten; Choi, Ena; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.; Emsellem, Eric

    2017-06-01

    We present three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations showing the effect of kinetic and radiative active galactic nuclei (AGN) feedback on a model galaxy representing a massive quiescent low-redshift early-type galaxy of M* = 8.41 × 1010 M⊙, harbouring an MBH = 4 × 108 M⊙ black hole surrounded by a cooling gaseous halo. We show that, for a total baryon fraction of ˜20 per cent of the cosmological value, feedback from the AGN can keep the galaxy quiescent for about 4.35 Gyr and with properties consistent with black hole mass and X-ray luminosity scaling relations. However, this can only be achieved if the AGN feedback model includes both kinetic and radiative feedback modes. The simulation with only kinetic feedback fails to keep the model galaxy fully quiescent, while one with only radiative feedback leads to excessive black hole growth. For higher baryon fractions (e.g. 50 per cent of the cosmological value), the X-ray luminosities exceed observed values by at least one order of magnitude, and rapid cooling results in a star-forming galaxy. The AGN plays a major role in keeping the circumgalactic gas at observed metallicities of Z/Z⊙ ≳ 0.3 within the central ˜30 kpc by venting nuclear gas enriched with metals from residual star formation activity. As indicated by previous cosmological simulations, our results are consistent with a model for which the black hole mass and the total baryon fraction are set at higher redshifts z > 1 and the AGN alone can keep the model galaxy on observed scaling relations. Models without AGN feedback violate both the quiescence criterion as well as circumgalactic medium metallicity constraints.

  7. Effects of environmental enrichment on self-administration of the short-acting opioid remifentanil in male rats.

    PubMed

    Hofford, Rebecca S; Chow, Jonathan J; Beckmann, Joshua S; Bardo, Michael T

    2017-12-01

    Opioid abuse is a major problem around the world. Identifying environmental factors that contribute to opioid abuse and addiction is necessary for decreasing this epidemic. In rodents, environmental enrichment protects against the development of low dose stimulant self-administration, but studies examining the effect of enrichment and isolation (compared to standard housing) on the development of intravenous opioid self-administration have not been conducted. The present study investigated the role of environmental enrichment on self-administration of the short-acting μ-opioid remifentanil. Rats were raised in an enriched condition (Enr), standard condition (Std), or isolated condition (Iso) beginning at 21 days of age and were trained to lever press for 1 or 3 μg/kg/infusion remifentanil in young adulthood. Acquisition of self-administration and responding during increasing fixed ratio requirements were assessed, and a dose-response curve was generated. In all phases, Enr rats lever pressed significantly less than Std and Iso rats, with Enr rats pressing between 9 and 40% the amount of Iso rats. Enr rats did not acquire remifentanil self-administration when trained with 1 μg/kg/infusion, did not increase responding over increasing FR when trained at either dose, and their dose-response curves were flattened compared to Std and Iso rats. When expressed as economic demand curves, Enr rats displayed a decrease in both essential value (higher α) and reinforcer intensity (Q 0 ) compared to Std and Iso rats at the 1 μg/kg/infusion training dose. Environmental enrichment reduced remifentanil intake, suggesting that social and environmental novelty may protect against opioid abuse.

  8. Silver spoons in the rough: can environmental enrichment improve survival of hatchery Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in the wild?

    PubMed

    Roberts, L J; Taylor, J; Gough, P J; Forman, D W; Garcia de Leaniz, C

    2014-12-01

    This study tested the 'silver spoon' hypothesis which posits that individuals that develop under favourable conditions should enjoy a fitness advantage later in life because they are more likely to recognize and settle in high-quality habitats. Atlantic salmon Salmo salar of two age classes (0+ and 1+ years) were reared in environmentally enriched or standard hatchery tanks for a short period (c. 10 weeks), were then released into a natural river and sampled on repeated occasions to test for silver-spoon effects. Compared with controls, enriched fish had a 6.4% higher recapture rate and settled in higher velocity habitats when they were stocked as 0+ year fry, but not when they were stocked as 1+ year parr. The opportunity for selection was generally higher for environmentally enriched fish than for controls, and also higher for 0+ than for 1+ year fish. Selection favoured individuals with high condition factor, extensive fat reserves and longer than average pectoral fins in both age classes but favoured a small body size in 1+ year and a large body size in 0+ year releases. Stomach analysis showed that enriched fish ate more, and adapted quicker to natural prey than controls. These results provide support for silver-spoon effects in fish and indicate that enrichment can improve post-release performance in conservation programmes, but seemingly only if fish are not kept in captivity for too long. © 2014 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  9. Methylphenidate and environmental enrichment ameliorate the deleterious effects of prenatal stress on attention functioning.

    PubMed

    Zubedat, Salman; Aga-Mizrachi, Shlomit; Cymerblit-Sabba, Adi; Ritter, Ami; Nachmani, Maayan; Avital, Avi

    2015-01-01

    Either pre- or post-natal environmental factors seem to play a key role in brain and behavioral development and to exert long-term effects. Increasing evidence suggests that exposure to prenatal stress (PS) leads to motor and learning deficits and elevated anxiety, while enriched environment (EE) shows protective effects. The dopaminergic system is also sensitive to environmental life circumstances and affects attention functioning, which serves as the preliminary gate to cognitive processes. However, the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on the dopaminergic system and attentional functioning, in the context of these life experiences, remain unclear. Therefore, we aimed to examine the effects of EE or PS on distinct types of attention, along with possible effects of MPH exposure. We found that PS impaired selective attention as well as partial sustained attention, while EE had beneficial effects. Both EE and MPH ameliorated the deleterious effects of PS on attention functioning. Considering the possible psychostimulant effect of MPH, we examined both anxiety-like behavior as well as motor learning. We found that PS had a clear anxiogenic effect, whereas EE had an anxiolytic effect. Nevertheless, the treatment with both MPH and/or EE recovered the deleterious effects of PS. In the motor-learning task, the PS group showed superior performance while MPH led to impaired motor learning. Performance decrements were prevented in both the PS + MPH and EE + MPH groups. This study provides evidence that peripubertal exposure to EE (by providing enhanced sensory, motor, and social opportunities) or MPH treatments might be an optional therapeutic intervention in preventing the PS long-term adverse consequences.

  10. Environmental enrichment strengthens corticocortical interactions and reduces amyloid-β oligomers in aged mice

    PubMed Central

    Mainardi, Marco; Di Garbo, Angelo; Caleo, Matteo; Berardi, Nicoletta; Sale, Alessandro; Maffei, Lamberto

    2013-01-01

    Brain aging is characterized by global changes which are thought to underlie age-related cognitive decline. These include variations in brain activity and the progressive increase in the concentration of soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers, directly impairing synaptic function and plasticity even in the absence of any neurodegenerative disorder. Considering the high social impact of the decline in brain performance associated to aging, there is an urgent need to better understand how it can be prevented or contrasted. Lifestyle components, such as social interaction, motor exercise and cognitive activity, are thought to modulate brain physiology and its susceptibility to age-related pathologies. However, the precise functional and molecular factors that respond to environmental stimuli and might mediate their protective action again pathological aging still need to be clearly identified. To address this issue, we exploited environmental enrichment (EE), a reliable model for studying the effect of experience on the brain based on the enhancement of cognitive, social and motor experience, in aged wild-type mice. We analyzed the functional consequences of EE on aged brain physiology by performing in vivo local field potential (LFP) recordings with chronic implants. In addition, we also investigated changes induced by EE on molecular markers of neural plasticity and on the levels of soluble Aβ oligomers. We report that EE induced profound changes in the activity of the primary visual and auditory cortices and in their functional interaction. At the molecular level, EE enhanced plasticity by an upward shift of the cortical excitation/inhibition balance. In addition, EE reduced brain Aβ oligomers and increased synthesis of the Aβ-degrading enzyme neprilysin. Our findings strengthen the potential of EE procedures as a non-invasive paradigm for counteracting brain aging processes. PMID:24478697

  11. Environmental enrichment strengthens corticocortical interactions and reduces amyloid-β oligomers in aged mice.

    PubMed

    Mainardi, Marco; Di Garbo, Angelo; Caleo, Matteo; Berardi, Nicoletta; Sale, Alessandro; Maffei, Lamberto

    2014-01-01

    Brain aging is characterized by global changes which are thought to underlie age-related cognitive decline. These include variations in brain activity and the progressive increase in the concentration of soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers, directly impairing synaptic function and plasticity even in the absence of any neurodegenerative disorder. Considering the high social impact of the decline in brain performance associated to aging, there is an urgent need to better understand how it can be prevented or contrasted. Lifestyle components, such as social interaction, motor exercise and cognitive activity, are thought to modulate brain physiology and its susceptibility to age-related pathologies. However, the precise functional and molecular factors that respond to environmental stimuli and might mediate their protective action again pathological aging still need to be clearly identified. To address this issue, we exploited environmental enrichment (EE), a reliable model for studying the effect of experience on the brain based on the enhancement of cognitive, social and motor experience, in aged wild-type mice. We analyzed the functional consequences of EE on aged brain physiology by performing in vivo local field potential (LFP) recordings with chronic implants. In addition, we also investigated changes induced by EE on molecular markers of neural plasticity and on the levels of soluble Aβ oligomers. We report that EE induced profound changes in the activity of the primary visual and auditory cortices and in their functional interaction. At the molecular level, EE enhanced plasticity by an upward shift of the cortical excitation/inhibition balance. In addition, EE reduced brain Aβ oligomers and increased synthesis of the Aβ-degrading enzyme neprilysin. Our findings strengthen the potential of EE procedures as a non-invasive paradigm for counteracting brain aging processes.

  12. Environmental enrichment reduces cocaine neurotoxicity during cocaine-conditioned place preference in male rats.

    PubMed

    Freese, Luana; Almeida, Felipe Borges; Heidrich, Nubia; Hansen, Alana Witt; Steffens, Luiza; Steinmetz, Aline; Moura, Dinara Jaqueline; Gomez, Rosane; Barros, Helena Maria Tannhauser

    2018-06-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) has a neuroprotective role and prevents the development of cocaine addiction behavior in rats. Studies showing the role of EE in cocaine toxicity are nonexistent. We hypothesized that rats exposed to EE are protected from cocaine-induced changes in the redox profile and DNA damage after undergoing conditioned place preference (CPP). Ten male Wistar rats were placed in EE cages equipped with toys, a ladder and tunnels, and ten were provided clean, standard laboratory housing (non-EE). EE and non-EE rats were randomly allocated to the classical CPP cocaine vs. saline (COC/Saline) group, where cocaine (15 mg/kg; i.p.) was tested alternately with saline. Afterwards, intracellular reactive species and antioxidant enzymes were evaluated and the comet essay was performed in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of rats. As expected, EE rats spent less time in the cocaine-paired chamber, and as a new result, less cocaine-induced DNA damage was observed in the two brain structures. Altogether, our results demonstrate that EE decreases neurotoxicity in brain regions linked to cocaine addiction but does not extinguish it completely. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Triclosan enriches for Dehalococcoides-like Chloroflexi in anaerobic soil at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Patrick J; Krzmarzick, Mark J

    2013-07-01

    Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent that is discharged to soils with land-applied wastewater biosolids, is persistent under anaerobic conditions, and yet its impact on anaerobic microbial communities in soils is largely unknown. We hypothesized that triclosan enriches for Dehalococcoides-like Chloroflexi because these bacteria respire organochlorides and are likely less sensitive, relative to other bacteria, to the antimicrobial effects of triclosan. Triplicate anaerobic soil microcosms were seeded with agricultural soil, which was not previously exposed to triclosan, and were amended with 1 mg kg(-1) of triclosan. Triplicate control microcosms did not receive triclosan, and the experiment was run for 618 days. The overall bacterial community (assessed by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) was not impacted by triclosan; however, the abundance of Dehalococcoides-like Chloroflexi 16S rRNA genes (determined by qPCR) increased 20-fold with triclosan amendment compared with a fivefold increase without triclosan. This work demonstrates that triclosan impacts anaerobic soil communities at environmentally relevant levels. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Environmental Enrichment and Social Isolation Mediate Neuroplasticity of Medium Spiny Neurons through the GSK3 Pathway.

    PubMed

    Scala, Federico; Nenov, Miroslav N; Crofton, Elizabeth J; Singh, Aditya K; Folorunso, Oluwarotimi; Zhang, Yafang; Chesson, Brent C; Wildburger, Norelle C; James, Thomas F; Alshammari, Musaad A; Alshammari, Tahani K; Elfrink, Hannah; Grassi, Claudio; Kasper, James M; Smith, Ashley E; Hommel, Jonathan D; Lichti, Cheryl F; Rudra, Jai S; D'Ascenzo, Marcello; Green, Thomas A; Laezza, Fernanda

    2018-04-10

    Resilience and vulnerability to neuropsychiatric disorders are linked to molecular changes underlying excitability that are still poorly understood. Here, we identify glycogen-synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) and voltage-gated Na + channel Nav1.6 as regulators of neuroplasticity induced by environmentally enriched (EC) or isolated (IC) conditions-models for resilience and vulnerability. Transcriptomic studies in the nucleus accumbens from EC and IC rats predicted low levels of GSK3β and SCN8A mRNA as a protective phenotype associated with reduced excitability in medium spiny neurons (MSNs). In vivo genetic manipulations demonstrate that GSK3β and Nav1.6 are molecular determinants of MSN excitability and that silencing of GSK3β prevents maladaptive plasticity of IC MSNs. In vitro studies reveal direct interaction of GSK3β with Nav1.6 and phosphorylation at Nav1.6 T1936 by GSK3β. A GSK3β-Nav1.6 T1936 competing peptide reduces MSNs excitability in IC, but not EC rats. These results identify GSK3β regulation of Nav1.6 as a biosignature of MSNs maladaptive plasticity. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Unconventional Transcriptional Response to Environmental Enrichment in a Mouse Model of Rett Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Kerr, Bredford; Silva, Pamela A.; Walz, Katherina; Young, Juan I.

    2010-01-01

    Background Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked postnatal neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and one of the leading causes of mental retardation in females. RTT is characterized by psychomotor retardation, purposeless hand movements, autistic-like behavior and abnormal gait. We studied the effects of environmental enrichment (EE) on the phenotypic manifestations of a RTT mouse model that lacks MeCP2 (Mecp2 −/y). Principal Findings We found that EE delayed and attenuated some neurological alterations presented by Mecp2 −/y mice and prevented the development of motor discoordination and anxiety-related abnormalities. To define the molecular correlate of this beneficial effect of EE, we analyzed the expression of several synaptic marker genes whose expression is increased by EE in several mouse models. Conclusions/Significance We found that EE induced downregulation of several synaptic markers, suggesting that the partial prevention of RTT-associated phenotypes is achieved through a non-conventional transcriptional program. PMID:20634955

  16. Environmental and plant community determinants of species loss following nitrogen enrichment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, C.M.; Cleland, E.E.; Collins, S.L.; Fargione, J.E.; Gough, L.; Gross, K.L.; Pennings, S.C.; Suding, K.N.; Grace, J.B.

    2007-01-01

    Global energy use and food production have increased nitrogen inputs to ecosystems worldwide, impacting plant community diversity, composition, and function. Previous studies show considerable variation across terrestrial herbaceous ecosystems in the magnitude of species loss following nitrogen (N) enrichment. What controls this variation remains unknown. We present results from 23 N-addition experiments across North America, representing a range of climatic, soil and plant community properties, to determine conditions that lead to greater diversity decline. Species loss in these communities ranged from 0 to 65% of control richness. Using hierarchical structural equation modelling, we found greater species loss in communities with a lower soil cation exchange capacity, colder regional temperature, and larger production increase following N addition, independent of initial species richness, plant productivity, and the relative abundance of most plant functional groups. Our results indicate sensitivity to N addition is co-determined by environmental conditions and production responsiveness, which overwhelm the effects of initial community structure and composition. ?? 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  17. Environmental enrichment and abstinence attenuate ketamine-induced cardiac and renal toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xingxing; Li, Shuangyan; Zheng, Wenhui; Pan, Jian; Huang, Kunyu; Chen, Rong; Pan, Tonghe; Liao, Guorong; Chen, Zhongming; Zhou, Dongsheng; Shen, Wenwen; Zhou, Wenhua; Liu, Yu

    2015-01-01

    The current study was designed to investigate the effect of abstinence in combination with environmental enrichment (EE) on cardiac and renal toxicity induced by 2 weeks of ketamine self-administration (SA) in rodents. In Experiment 1, one group of rats underwent ketamine SA for 14 days. In Experiment 2, the animals completed 2 weeks of ketamine SA followed by 2 and 4 weeks of abstinence. In Experiment 3, animals underwent 14 days of ketamine SA and 4 weeks of abstinence in which isolated environment (IE) and EE was introduced. The corresponding control groups were included for each experiment. Two weeks of ketamine SA caused significant increases in organ weight, Apoptosis Stimulating Fragment/Kidney Injury Molecule-1, and apoptotic level of heart and kidney. The extended length of withdrawal from ketamine SA partially reduced toxicity on the heart and kidney. Finally, introduction of EE during the period of abstinence greatly promoted the effect of abstinence on ketamine-induced cardiac and renal toxicity. The interactive effect of EE and abstinence was promising to promote the recovery of cardiac and renal toxicity of ketamine. PMID:26112338

  18. Influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrient enrichment in agricultural streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maret, Terry R.; Konrad, Christopher P.; Tranmer, Andrew W.

    2010-01-01

    The influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrients was examined in three diverse agricultural regions of the United States. Seventy wadeable sites were selected along an agricultural land use gradient while minimizing natural variation within each region. Nutrients, habitat, algae, macroinvertebrates, and macrophyte cover were sampled during a single summer low-flow period in 2006 or 2007. Continuous stream stage and water temperature were collected at each site for 30 days prior to sampling. Wide ranges of concentrations were found for total nitrogen (TN) (0.07-9.61 mg/l) and total phosphorus (TP) (R2) for nutrients and biotic measures across all sites ranged from 0.08 to 0.32 and generally were not higher within each region. The biotic measures (RCHL, SCHL, and AQM) were combined in an index to evaluate eutrophic status across sites that could have different biotic responses to nutrient enrichment. Stepwise multiple regression identified TN, percent canopy, median riffle depth, and daily percent change in stage as significant factors for the eutrophic index (R2 = 0.50, p < 0.001). A TN threshold of 0.48 mg/l was identified where eutrophic index scores became less responsive to increasing TN concentrations, for all sites. Multiple plant growth indicators should be used when evaluating eutrophication, especially when streams contain an abundance of macrophytes.

  19. Effects of preweaning environmental enrichment on hippocampus-dependent learning and memory in developing rats.

    PubMed

    Lu, Cheng-Qiu; Zhong, Le; Yan, Chong-Huai; Tian, Ying; Shen, Xiao-Ming

    2017-02-15

    Previous studies have shown that environmental enrichment (EE) improves learning and memory in adult animals. However, the effects of preweaning EE (preEE) on hippocampus-dependent learning and memory as well as its possible mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we report that preEE enhanced the exploratory activity in rats immediately after weaning, and the EE group showed greater performance in a passive avoidance task than the control group (p<0.05), but not in the locomotion activity. Electrophysiology analysis showed that rats exposed to preEE exhibited larger field excitatory postsynaptic potentials after long-term potentiation induction than those in the control group (p<0.05). The protein levels of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinases as well as activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein were significantly upregulated in the preEE group compared to the control group (p<0.05). Our results indicate that preEE can enhance hippocampus-dependent learning and memory function as postweaning EE does, and the upregulated activation of the ERK signal transduction pathway may be the underlying molecular mechanism. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Effect of Environmental Enrichment on Singly- and Group-Housed Squirrel Monkeys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spring, Sarah E.; Clifford, James O.; Tomko, David L.; Hargens, Alan R. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Nonhuman primates display an interest in novel places, habituate to new situations, and spend most of their daily activity in the wild in large groups engaging in feeding behaviors. Captivity changes these behaviors, and disrupts normal social hierarchies. In captivity, animals may exhibit stereotypical behaviors which are thought to indicate decreased psychological well-being (PWB). If an animal's behaviors can be made to approach those seen in the wild, and stereotypical behaviors are minimal it is assumed that PWB is adequate. Environmental enrichment (EE) devices have been used to address the Animal Welfare Act's requirement that the PWB of captive nonhuman primates be considered. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether various EE devices improve the PWB of captive squirrel monkeys. The present study used behavioral observation to quantify the effectiveness of several EE devices in reducing stereotypical behaviors in squirrel monkeys housed singly or in groups. Results showed that the EE devices used did not affect the expression of normal or stereotypical behaviors, but that the type of housing did.

  1. Dopamine D2 gene expression interacts with environmental enrichment to impact lifespan and behavior.

    PubMed

    Thanos, Panayotis K; Hamilton, John; O'Rourke, Joseph R; Napoli, Anthony; Febo, Marcelo; Volkow, Nora D; Blum, Kenneth; Gold, Mark

    2016-04-12

    Aging produces cellular, molecular, and behavioral changes affecting many areas of the brain. The dopamine (DA) system is known to be vulnerable to the effects of aging, which regulate behavioral functions such as locomotor activity, body weight, and reward and cognition. In particular, age-related DA D2 receptor (D2R) changes have been of particular interest given its relationship with addiction and other rewarding behavioral properties. Male and female wild-type (Drd2 +/+), heterozygous (Drd2 +/-) and knockout (Drd2 -/-) mice were reared post-weaning in either an enriched environment (EE) or a deprived environment (DE). Over the course of their lifespan, body weight and locomotor activity was assessed. While an EE was generally found to be correlated with longer lifespan, these increases were only found in mice with normal or decreased expression of the D2 gene. Drd2 +/+ EE mice lived nearly 16% longer than their DE counterparts. Drd2 +/+ and Drd2 +/- EE mice lived 22% and 21% longer than Drd2 -/- EE mice, respectively. Moreover, both body weight and locomotor activity were moderated by environmental factors. In addition, EE mice show greater behavioral variability between genotypes compared to DE mice with respect to body weight and locomotor activity.

  2. Preference for social contact versus environmental enrichment in male laboratory mice.

    PubMed

    Van Loo, P L P; Van de Weerd, H A; Van Zutphen, L F M; Baumans, V

    2004-04-01

    Due to their aggressive nature, male mice are less frequently used than female mice in biomedical research. When aggressive males are being used, individual housing is common practice. The question arises whether this is an acceptable housing for a social species. The present study was designed to gain more insight into the nature of inter-male social contact and into the potential of a form of environmental enrichment (nesting material) to compensate for the lack of social contact. In a series of tests, we analysed whether male mice of different ages preferred to spend time (1) near a familiar cage mate versus an empty cage, or (2) near to a familiar cage mate versus direct contact with nesting material (tissues). Dwelling time in each of the test cages and sleeping sites was recorded, as was the behaviour of the test mice. Results indicated that when other conditions were similar, male mice preferred to sleep in close proximity to their familiar cage mate. Furthermore, the need to engage in active social behaviour increased with age. Tissues were used to a large extent for sleeping and sleep-related behaviour. It is concluded that single housing in order to avoid aggression between male mice is a solution with evident negative consequences for the animals. When individual housing is inevitable due to excessive aggressive behaviour, the presence of nesting material could partly compensate for the deprivation of social contact.

  3. Long-Term Macroevaluation of Environmental Enrichment in Three Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) at Barcelona Zoo.

    PubMed

    Soriano, Ana I; Vinyoles, Dolors; Maté, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    The evaluation of enrichment programs is important to determine their effect on nonhuman animal welfare. The daily activity pattern and use of space of 3 brown bears (Ursus arctos) were used for long-term macroevaluation of enrichment to compare the baseline and enrichment phases. Focal sampling methods were used for data collection, and instantaneous scans were made at 2-min intervals during 15 sessions of 1 hr for each animal during the 2 study periods. The enrichment devices were categorized as feeding, occupational, and sensorial. The long-term macroevaluation in 3 bears showed statistically significant differences in some types of activity but not in others. There were also statistically significant differences for the use of space in 4 of the 8 zones in which the enclosures were divided. A more homogenous pattern in the use of space was only observed during the enrichment phase in the old female. The 3 brown bears followed different patterns concerning the enrichment program.

  4. Early IGF-1 primes visual cortex maturation and accelerates developmental switch between NKCC1 and KCC2 chloride transporters in enriched animals.

    PubMed

    Baroncelli, Laura; Cenni, Maria Cristina; Melani, Riccardo; Deidda, Gabriele; Landi, Silvia; Narducci, Roberta; Cancedda, Laura; Maffei, Lamberto; Berardi, Nicoletta

    2017-02-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) has a remarkable impact on brain development. Continuous exposure to EE from birth determines a significant acceleration of visual system maturation both at retinal and cortical levels. A pre-weaning enriched experience is sufficient to trigger the accelerated maturation of the visual system, suggesting that factors affected by EE during the first days of life might prime visual circuits towards a faster development. The search for such factors is crucial not only to gain a better understanding of the molecular hierarchy of brain development but also to identify molecular pathways amenable to be targeted to correct atypical brain developmental trajectories. Here, we showed that IGF-1 levels are increased in the visual cortex of EE rats as early as P6 and this is a crucial event for setting in motion the developmental program induced by EE. Early intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion of IGF-1 in standard rats was sufficient to mimic the action of EE on visual acuity development, whereas blocking IGF-1 signaling by i.c.v. injections of the IGF-1 receptor antagonist JB1 prevented the deployment of EE effects. Early IGF-1 decreased the ratio between the expression of NKCC1 and KCC2 cation/chloride transporters, and the reversal potential for GABA A R-driven Cl - currents (E Cl ) was shifted toward more negative potentials, indicating that IGF-1 is a crucial factor in accelerating the maturation of GABAergic neurotransmission and promoting the developmental switch of GABA polarity from excitation to inhibition. In addition, early IGF-1 promoted a later occurring increase in its own expression, suggesting a priming effect of early IGF-1 in driving post-weaning cortical maturation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Impact of NLTE on research of early chemical enrichment of the dwarf galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mashonkina, Lyudmila

    2015-08-01

    The individual stars observed in the dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way are presumably red giants. Their chemical abundances are commonly determined under the classical LTE assumption, despite its validity is questionable for atmospheres of giant, in particular, metal-poor stars. Exactly metal-poor objects are important for understanding the early chemical enrichment processes of the host galaxy and the onset of star formation. We selected a sample of the -4 < [Fe/H] < -2 stars in the dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies Sculptor, Sextans, and Fornax and the ultra-faint galaxies Bootes I and Segue I, with the high-resolution observational data available, and revised abundances of up to 12 chemical species based on the non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) line formation. Stellar parameters taken from the literature were checked through the NLTE analysis of lines of iron observed in the two ionisation stages, Fe I and Fe II. For the Scl, Sex, and Fnx stars, with effective temperatures and surface gravities derived from the photometry and known distance (Jablonka et al. 2015; Tafelmeyer et al. 2010), the Fe I/Fe II ionisation equilibrium was found to be fulfilled, when applying a scaling factor of SH = 0.5 to the Drawinian rates of Fe+H collisions. Pronounced NLTE effects were calculated for lines of Na I and Al I resulting in up to 0.5 dex lower [Na/Fe] ratios and up to 0.65 dex higher [Al/Fe] ratios compared with the corresponding LTE values. For the six Scl stars, the scatter of data on Mg/Na is much smaller in NLTE, with the mean [Mg/Na] = 0.61 +- 0.11, than LTE, where [Mg/Na] = 0.42 +- 0.21. We computed a grid of the NLTE abundance corrections for an extensive list of the Ca I, Ti I-Ti II, and Fe I lines in the MARCS models of cool giants, 4000 K <= Teff <= 4750 K, 0.5 <= log g <= 2.5, -4 <= [M/H] <= 0.

  6. Personal and Environmental Predictors of Academics' Work-to-Family Enrichment at Research Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salehi, Pouria; Mohd Rasdi, Roziah; Ahmad, Aminah

    2015-01-01

    This paper aims to discover predictors of academics' work-to-family enrichment at Malaysian Research Universities. The underlying theoretical foundations of this study are the work-family enrichment theory by Greenhaus and Powell and the model of primary antecedents, consequences, and moderators of facilitation by Wayne, Grzywacz, Carlson, and…

  7. Environmental enrichment reduces innate anxiety with no effect on depression-like behaviour in mice lacking the serotonin transporter.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Jake; Li, Shanshan; Lanfumey, Laurence; Hannan, Anthony J; Renoir, Thibault

    2017-08-14

    Along with being the main target of many antidepressant medications, the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) is known to be involved in the pathophysiology of depression and anxiety disorders. In line with this, mice with varying 5-HTT genotypes are invaluable tools to study depression- and anxiety-like behaviours as well as the mechanisms mediating potential therapeutics. There is clear evidence that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the aetiology of psychiatric disorders. In that regard, housing paradigms which seek to enhance cognitive stimulation and physical activity have been shown to exert beneficial effects in animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders. In the present study, we examined the effects of environmental enrichment on affective-like behaviours and sensorimotor gating function of 5-HTT knock-out (KO) mice. Using the elevated-plus maze and the light-dark box, we found that environmental enrichment ameliorated the abnormal innate anxiety of 5-HTT KO mice on both tests. In contrast, environmental enrichment did not rescue the depression-like behaviour displayed by 5-HTT KO mice in the forced-swim test. Finally, measuring pre-pulse inhibition, we found no effect of genotype or treatment on sensorimotor gating. In conclusion, our data suggest that environmental enrichment specifically reduces innate anxiety of 5-HTT KO mice with no amelioration of the depression-like behaviour. This has implications for the current use of clinical interventions for patients with symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. A simple polymer electrolyte membrane system for enrichment of low-level tritium (3H) in environmental water samples.

    PubMed

    Wassenaar, Leonard I; Han, Liang-Feng; Schiefer, Thomas; Kainz, Gustav; Araguas-Araguas, Luis; Aggarwal, Pradeep K

    2018-06-01

    Tritium ( 3 H) is an essential tracer of the Earth's water cycle; yet widespread adoption of tritium in hydrologic studies remains a challenge because of analytical barriers to quantification and detection of 3 H by electrolytic pre-concentration. Here, we propose a simple tritium electrolytic enrichment system based on the use of solid polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) that can be used to enrich 3 H in 250-3000 mL environmental water samples to a 10-mL final volume. The IAEA PEM- 3 H system reported here can produce high enrichment factors (>70-fold) and, importantly, removes some of the deterrents to conventional 3 H enrichments methods, including the use of toxic electrolysis and neutralization chemicals, spike standards, a complex electrolysis apparatus that requires extensive cooling and temperature controls, and improves precision by eliminating the need for tracking recovery gravimetrics. Preliminary results with varying operating conditions show 3 H enrichments to 70-fold and higher are feasible, spanning a wide range of tritium activities from 5 to 150 TU with a precision of ∼4.5 %. Further work is needed to quantify inter-sample memory and to establish lower 3 H detection limits. The IAEA PEM- 3 H system is open source, with 3-D CAD and design files made freely available for adoption and improvement by others.

  9. Influence of Environmental Factors on Biotic Responses to Nutrient Enrichment in Agricultural Streams1

    PubMed Central

    Maret, Terry R; Konrad, Christopher P; Tranmer, Andrew W

    2010-01-01

    The influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrients was examined in three diverse agricultural regions of the United States. Seventy wadeable sites were selected along an agricultural land use gradient while minimizing natural variation within each region. Nutrients, habitat, algae, macroinvertebrates, and macrophyte cover were sampled during a single summer low-flow period in 2006 or 2007. Continuous stream stage and water temperature were collected at each site for 30 days prior to sampling. Wide ranges of concentrations were found for total nitrogen (TN) (0.07-9.61 mg/l) and total phosphorus (TP) (<0.004-0.361 mg/l), but biotic responses including periphytic and sestonic chlorophyll a (RCHL and SCHL, respectively), and percent of stream bed with aquatic macrophyte (AQM) growth were not strongly related to concentrations of TN or TP. Pearson’s coefficient of determination (R2) for nutrients and biotic measures across all sites ranged from 0.08 to 0.32 and generally were not higher within each region. The biotic measures (RCHL, SCHL, and AQM) were combined in an index to evaluate eutrophic status across sites that could have different biotic responses to nutrient enrichment. Stepwise multiple regression identified TN, percent canopy, median riffle depth, and daily percent change in stage as significant factors for the eutrophic index (R2 = 0.50, p < 0.001). A TN threshold of 0.48 mg/l was identified where eutrophic index scores became less responsive to increasing TN concentrations, for all sites. Multiple plant growth indicators should be used when evaluating eutrophication, especially when streams contain an abundance of macrophytes. PMID:22457568

  10. Environmental enrichment prevents anxiety-like behavior induced by progesterone withdrawal in two strains of rats.

    PubMed

    Islas-Preciado, D; López-Rubalcava, C; González-Olvera, J; Gallardo-Tenorio, A; Estrada-Camarena, E

    2016-11-12

    Stress vulnerability could influence the treatment response to anxiety associated with abrupt hormonal suppression. The present study explored the effects of different treatments on experimental anxiety induced by progesterone withdrawal (PW) in a stress-sensitive rat strain, Wistar Kyoto (WKY), in the burying behavior test (BBT). The following experimental series was conducted using independent groups of Wistar (control strain) and WKY ovariectomized rats: Experiment 1: Rats were treated for 5days with oil, a constant dose of progesterone (0.5mg/rat, s.c) or a combination of progesterone (0.5mg/rat, s.c) plus fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, i.p); on day 6, all rats were subjected to BBT. Experiment 2: Rats received corn oil or decreasing doses of progesterone (0.84, 0.67, 0.5, 0.33 and 0.17mg/rat; one dose daily); on day 6, the rats were subjected to BBT. Experiment 3: Rats were divided into two groups that were subjected to 30days of standard conditions or environmental enrichment (EE); from days 25 to 30, all rats received a fixed dose of progesterone (0.5mg/rat, s.c.) or vehicle. On day 31, the rats were tested with BBT. Results showed that PW increased anxiety in both strains, and fluoxetine prevented anxiety in WKY rats. In contrast, a gradual reduction of progesterone prevents the anxiety in Wistar but not in WKY. EE was preventive against the anxiety induced by PW in both strains of rats. Thus, the results suggest that anxiety induced by PW is prevented by EE while the anxiolytic effect of pharmacological treatments depends on stress vulnerability. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Environmental Effects on the Metallicities of Early-Type Galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oliversen, Ronald J. (Technical Monitor); Jones, Christine

    2004-01-01

    In this multi-year project to investigate the metal enrichment of early-type galaxies, we have used ROSAT, ASCA and now Chandra observations to study samples of galaxies. We have published two papers and a third paper that incorporates Chandra archival observations is nearing completion. Below, we briefly describe our findings. Our first paper "SN IA Enrichment in Virgo Early-type Galaxies from ROSAT and ASCA Observations" was published in the Astrophysical Journal (vol 539, 603) reported on the properties of nine X-ray bright elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster observed by ROSAT and ASCA. We measured iron abundance gradients as a function of radius in three galaxies. We found that the magnesium and silicon abundance gradients were in general flatter than those of iron. We suggest this is due to a metallicity dependence in the metal production rates of SN Ia's. We calculate SN Ia rates in the center of these galaxies that are comparable to those measured optically. Our second paper "ASCA Observations of Groups at Radii of Low Overdensity: Implications for Cosmic Preheating" also was published in the Astrophysical Journal (vol 578, 74). This paper reported on the ASCA spectroscopy of nine groups of galaxies. We found that the entropy profile in groups is driven by nongravitational heating processes, and could be explained by a short period of preheating by galactic winds. The third paper (in preparation) uses a sample of about 200 galaxies from both ROSAT and Chandra observations. In this paper we characterize both the nuclear and the extended X-ray emission for this sample. We will use these observations to determine the "on-time" of the X-ray emitting AGN and the fraction of "fossil groups" as well as to investigate how large AGN outbursts can sweep the galaxy of its hot ISM, thus leading to changes in the ISM metal enrichment.

  12. Early Action on the Global Environmental Monitoring System. A Report of the International Environmental Programs Committee.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council, Washington, DC. Environmental Studies Board.

    The Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS) is one of four components of Earthwatch, a part of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The purpose of GEMS is to provide early warning of impending natural or man-induced environmental changes or trends that threaten direct or indirect harm to human health or well-being. In 1975, the…

  13. Rumen Biohydrogenation and Microbial Community Changes Upon Early Life Supplementation of 22:6n-3 Enriched Microalgae to Goats

    PubMed Central

    Dewanckele, Lore; Vlaeminck, Bruno; Hernandez-Sanabria, Emma; Ruiz-González, Alexis; Debruyne, Sieglinde; Jeyanathan, Jeyamalar; Fievez, Veerle

    2018-01-01

    Dietary supplementation of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-enriched products inhibits the final step of biohydrogenation in the adult rumen, resulting in the accumulation of 18:1 isomers, particularly of trans(t)-11 18:1. Occasionally, a shift toward the formation of t10 intermediates at the expense of t11 intermediates can be triggered. However, whether similar impact would occur when supplementing DHA-enriched products during pregnancy or early life remains unknown. Therefore, the current in vivo study aimed to investigate the effect of a nutritional intervention with DHA in the early life of goat kids on rumen biohydrogenation and microbial community. Delivery of DHA was achieved by supplementing DHA-enriched microalgae (DHA Gold) either to the maternal diet during pregnancy (prenatal) or to the diet of the young offspring (postnatal). At the age of 12 weeks, rumen fluid was sampled for analysis of long-chain fatty acids and microbial community based on bacterial 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Postnatal supplementation with DHA-enriched microalgae inhibited the final biohydrogenation step, as observed in adult animals. This resulted particularly in increased ruminal proportions of t11 18:1 rather than a shift to t10 intermediates, suggesting that both young and adult goats might be less prone to dietary induced shifts toward the formation of t10 intermediates, in comparison with cows. Although Butyrivibrio species have been identified as the most important biohydrogenating bacteria, this genus was more abundant when complete biohydrogenation, i.e. 18:0 formation, was inhibited. Blautia abundance was positively correlated with 18:0 accumulation, whereas Lactobacillus spp. Dialister spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. were more abundant in situations with greater t10 accumulation. Extensive comparisons made between current results and literature data indicate that current associations between biohydrogenation intermediates and rumen bacteria in young goats align with former

  14. Early Environmental Origins of Neurodegenerative Disease in Later Life

    PubMed Central

    Landrigan, Philip J.; Sonawane, Babasaheb; Butler, Robert N.; Trasande, Leonardo; Callan, Richard; Droller, Daniel

    2005-01-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) and Alzheimer disease (AD), the two most common neurodegenerative disorders in American adults, are of purely genetic origin in a minority of cases and appear in most instances to arise through interactions among genetic and environmental factors. In this article we hypothesize that environmental exposures in early life may be of particular etiologic importance and review evidence for the early environmental origins of neurodegeneration. For PD the first recognized environmental cause, MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine), was identified in epidemiologic studies of drug abusers. Chemicals experimentally linked to PD include the insecticide rotenone and the herbicides paraquat and maneb; interaction has been observed between paraquat and maneb. In epidemiologic studies, manganese has been linked to parkinsonism. In dementia, lead is associated with increased risk in chronically exposed workers. Exposures of children in early life to lead, polychlorinated biphenyls, and methylmercury have been followed by persistent decrements in intelligence that may presage dementia. To discover new environmental causes of AD and PD, and to characterize relevant gene–environment interactions, we recommend that a large, prospective genetic and epidemiologic study be undertaken that will follow thousands of children from conception (or before) to old age. Additional approaches to etiologic discovery include establishing incidence registries for AD and PD, conducting targeted investigations in high-risk populations, and improving testing of the potential neurologic toxicity of chemicals. PMID:16140633

  15. Effects of environmental enrichment on repetitive behaviors in the BTBR T+tf/J mouse model of autism.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Stacey; Urruela, Meagan; Devine, Darragh P

    2013-10-01

    Lower order and higher order repetitive behaviors have been documented in the BTBR T+tf/J (BTBR) mouse strain, a mouse model that exhibits all three core behavioral domains that define autism. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental enrichment for reducing repetitive behaviors in BTBR mice. Lower order behaviors were captured by assaying the time and sequence of grooming, while higher order behaviors were measured using pattern analysis of an object exploration task from digital recordings. Baseline scores were established at 7 weeks of age, followed by 30 days of housing in either a standard or enriched cage. As expected, BTBR mice spent significantly more time grooming and had a more rigid grooming sequence than control C57BL/6J mice did at baseline. After 30 days of enrichment housing, BTBR mice demonstrated a significant reduction in time spent grooming, resulting in levels that were lower than those exhibited by BTBR mice in standard housing. However, no changes were noted in the rigidity of their grooming sequence. In contrast to previous findings, there was no difference in repetitive patterns of exploration at baseline between BTBR and C57BL/6J mice in the object exploration test. Subsequently, enrichment did not significantly alter the number of repetitive patterns at posttest. Overall, the results suggest that environmental enrichment may be beneficial for reducing the time spent engaging in lower order repetitive behaviors, but may not change the overall quality of the behaviors when they do manifest. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Behavioral responses of three armadillo species (Mammalia: Xenarthra) to an environmental enrichment program in Villavicencio, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Cortés Duarte, Alexandra; Trujillo, Fernando; Superina, Mariella

    2016-07-01

    Enrichment is a powerful tool to improve the welfare of animals under human care. Stress-related health and behavioral problems, as well as reproductive failure, are frequent in armadillos (Xenarthra, Cingulata, Dasypodidae) under human care, which hinders the development of successful ex situ conservation programs. Nevertheless, scientific studies on the effect of enrichment programs on armadillos are virtually non-existent. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of an enrichment program on the behavior of armadillos under human care. The behavior of 12 individuals of three species (Dasypus novemcinctus, D. sabanicola, and Cabassous unicinctus) maintained at Finca El Turpial, Villavicencio, Colombia, was recorded using scan sampling during three daily time blocks of 2 hr each before (4 weeks) and after (4 weeks) implementing an enrichment program. Enrichment did not stimulate the armadillos to change or extend their activity period. In general, activity levels were low during the entire study, and virtually no activity was recorded in the morning in any species, neither without nor with enrichment. The latter did, however, improve welfare by reducing abnormal and increasing natural foraging behaviors. All species were attracted by artificial termite mounds. Dasypus spp. showed special interest in cardboard boxes with food, while Cabassous was mainly attracted to hollow plastic balls filled with food. Our results suggest that separate enrichment programs need to be developed for different armadillo species, and that they should be applied during the time of day at which they are most active. Zoo Biol. 35:304-312, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. The metallicity of the intracluster medium over cosmic time: further evidence for early enrichment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mantz, Adam B.; Allen, Steven W.; Morris, R. Glenn; Simionescu, Aurora; Urban, Ondrej; Werner, Norbert; Zhuravleva, Irina

    2017-12-01

    We use Chandra X-ray data to measure the metallicity of the intracluster medium (ICM) in 245 massive galaxy clusters selected from X-ray and Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect surveys, spanning redshifts 0 < z < 1.2. Metallicities were measured in three different radial ranges, spanning cluster cores through their outskirts. We explore trends in these measurements as a function of cluster redshift, temperature and surface brightness 'peakiness' (a proxy for gas cooling efficiency in cluster centres). The data at large radii (0.5-1 r500) are consistent with a constant metallicity, while at intermediate radii (0.1-0.5 r500) we see a late-time increase in enrichment, consistent with the expected production and mixing of metals in cluster cores. In cluster centres, there are strong trends of metallicity with temperature and peakiness, reflecting enhanced metal production in the lowest entropy gas. Within the cool-core/sharply peaked cluster population, there is a large intrinsic scatter in central metallicity and no overall evolution, indicating significant astrophysical variations in the efficiency of enrichment. The central metallicity in clusters with flat surface brightness profiles is lower, with a smaller intrinsic scatter, but increases towards lower redshifts. Our results are consistent with other recent measurements of ICM metallicity as a function of redshift. They reinforce the picture implied by observations of uniform metal distributions in the outskirts of nearby clusters, in which most of the enrichment of the ICM takes place before cluster formation, with significant later enrichment taking place only in cluster centres, as the stellar populations of the central galaxies evolve.

  18. The metallicity of the intracluster medium over cosmic time: further evidence for early enrichment

    DOE PAGES

    Mantz, Adam B.; Allen, Steven W.; Morris, R. Glenn; ...

    2017-08-26

    Here, we use Chandra X-ray data to measure the metallicity of the intracluster medium (ICM) in 245 massive galaxy clusters selected from X-ray and Sunyaev–Zel'dovich (SZ) effect surveys, spanning redshifts 0 < z < 1.2. Metallicities were measured in three different radial ranges, spanning cluster cores through their outskirts. We explore trends in these measurements as a function of cluster redshift, temperature and surface brightness ‘peakiness’ (a proxy for gas cooling efficiency in cluster centres). The data at large radii (0.5–1 r500) are consistent with a constant metallicity, while at intermediate radii (0.1–0.5 r500) we see a late-time increase inmore » enrichment, consistent with the expected production and mixing of metals in cluster cores. In cluster centres, there are strong trends of metallicity with temperature and peakiness, reflecting enhanced metal production in the lowest entropy gas. Within the cool-core/sharply peaked cluster population, there is a large intrinsic scatter in central metallicity and no overall evolution, indicating significant astrophysical variations in the efficiency of enrichment. The central metallicity in clusters with flat surface brightness profiles is lower, with a smaller intrinsic scatter, but increases towards lower redshifts. Our results are consistent with other recent measurements of ICM metallicity as a function of redshift. They reinforce the picture implied by observations of uniform metal distributions in the outskirts of nearby clusters, in which most of the enrichment of the ICM takes place before cluster formation, with significant later enrichment taking place only in cluster centres, as the stellar populations of the central galaxies evolve.« less

  19. Is more choice always desirable? Evidence and arguments from leks, food selection, and environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, John M C

    2005-02-01

    on search images and the confusion effect may be evidence of this in vertebrates. Environmental enrichment of captive animals often relies on increasing the options available, but it need not be the choice itself that is beneficial. I consider briefly further areas in biology where choice preference or aversion are potentially important.

  20. Environmental Enrichment Decreases Asphyxia-Induced Neurobehavioral Developmental Delay in Neonatal Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kiss, Peter; Vadasz, Gyongyver; Kiss-Illes, Blanka; Horvath, Gabor; Tamas, Andrea; Reglodi, Dora; Koppan, Miklos

    2013-01-01

    Perinatal asphyxia during delivery produces long-term disability and represents a major problem in neonatal and pediatric care. Numerous neuroprotective approaches have been described to decrease the effects of perinatal asphyxia. Enriched environment is a popular strategy to counteract nervous system injuries. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether enriched environment is able to decrease the asphyxia-induced neurobehavioral developmental delay in neonatal rats. Asphyxia was induced in ready-to-deliver mothers by removing the pups by caesarian section after 15 min of asphyxia. Somatic and neurobehavioral development was tested daily and motor coordination weekly. Our results show that rats undergoing perinatal asphyxia had a marked developmental delay and worse performance in motor coordination tests. However, pups kept in enriched environment showed a decrease in the developmental delay observed in control asphyctic pups. Rats growing up in enriched environment did not show decrease in weight gain after the first week and the delay in reflex appearance was not as marked as in control rats. In addition, the development of motor coordination was not as strikingly delayed as in the control group. Short-term neurofunctional outcome are known to correlate with long-term deficits. Our results thus show that enriched environment could be a powerful strategy to decrease the deleterious developmental effects of perinatal asphyxia. PMID:24232451

  1. Environmental enrichment decreases asphyxia-induced neurobehavioral developmental delay in neonatal rats.

    PubMed

    Kiss, Peter; Vadasz, Gyongyver; Kiss-Illes, Blanka; Horvath, Gabor; Tamas, Andrea; Reglodi, Dora; Koppan, Miklos

    2013-11-13

    Perinatal asphyxia during delivery produces long-term disability and represents a major problem in neonatal and pediatric care. Numerous neuroprotective approaches have been described to decrease the effects of perinatal asphyxia. Enriched environment is a popular strategy to counteract nervous system injuries. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether enriched environment is able to decrease the asphyxia-induced neurobehavioral developmental delay in neonatal rats. Asphyxia was induced in ready-to-deliver mothers by removing the pups by caesarian section after 15 min of asphyxia. Somatic and neurobehavioral development was tested daily and motor coordination weekly. Our results show that rats undergoing perinatal asphyxia had a marked developmental delay and worse performance in motor coordination tests. However, pups kept in enriched environment showed a decrease in the developmental delay observed in control asphyctic pups. Rats growing up in enriched environment did not show decrease in weight gain after the first week and the delay in reflex appearance was not as marked as in control rats. In addition, the development of motor coordination was not as strikingly delayed as in the control group. Short-term neurofunctional outcome are known to correlate with long-term deficits. Our results thus show that enriched environment could be a powerful strategy to decrease the deleterious developmental effects of perinatal asphyxia.

  2. Environmental enrichment as a therapeutic avenue for anxiety in aged Wistar rats: Effect on cat odor exposition and GABAergic interneurons.

    PubMed

    Sampedro-Piquero, P; Castilla-Ortega, E; Zancada-Menendez, C; Santín, L J; Begega, A

    2016-08-25

    The use of more ethological animal models to study the neurobiology of anxiety has increased in recent years. We assessed the effect of an environmental enrichment (EE) protocol (24h/day over a period of two months) on anxiety-related behaviors when aged Wistar rats (21months old) were confronted with cat odor stimuli. Owing to the relationship between GABAergic interneurons and the anxiety-related neuronal network, we examined changes in the expression of Parvalbumin (PV) and 67kDa form of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD-67) immunoreactive cells in different brain regions involved in stress response. Behavioral results revealed that enriched rats traveled further and made more grooming behaviors during the habituation session. In the cat odor session, they traveled longer distances and they showed more active interaction with the odor stimuli and less time in freezing behavior. Zone analysis revealed that the enriched group spent more time in the intermediate zone according to the proximity of the predator odor. Regarding the neurobiological data, the EE increased the expression of PV-positive cells in some medial prefrontal regions (cingulate (Cg) and prelimbic (PL) cortices), whereas the GAD-67 expression in the basolateral amygdala was reduced in the enriched group. Our results suggest that EE is able to reduce anxiety-like behaviors in aged animals even when ethologically relevant stimuli are used. Moreover, GABAergic interneurons could be involved in mediating this resilient behavior. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Increase of glucocorticoid receptor expression after environmental enrichment: relations to spatial memory, exploration and anxiety-related behaviors.

    PubMed

    Sampedro-Piquero, P; Begega, A; Arias, J L

    2014-04-22

    Environmental enrichment (EE) produces a remarkable degree of structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus and possible mediators of these changes, such as glucocorticoid receptors (GRs), are of considerable interest. GRs are richly expressed in the hippocampus and they are involved in the adaptation to stressors and facilitate active coping in anxious situations. In this study, we assessed the effect of an EE protocol (24h/day during 69days) in adult Wistar rats on the activity in the elevated-zero maze (EZM), performance in the holeboard task (HB) and we also examined the changes in the glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) expression in the dorsal hippocampus (CA1, CA3 and DG). Our EE protocol reduced anxious behaviors in the EZM, so the animals spent more time and made more entries into the open sections. In the HB task, the enriched group showed more explorative behavior, a reduction of anxiety-related behaviors and a better cognitive performance compared to non-enriched animals. With regard to the GR expression, the EE condition produced an increase in the number of immunopositive cells for GRs in CA1, CA3 and DG. These results suggest that the better performance of enriched animals could be mediated in part by the increase of GRs in the dorsal hippocampus, which may alter the hippocampal neuronal function and accordingly, the anxiety levels, the spatial memory performance and the exploration levels in these animals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Early experience and results of bone graft enriched with autologous platelet gel for recalcitrant nonunions of lower extremity.

    PubMed

    Chiang, Chao-Ching; Su, Chen-Yao; Huang, Ching-Kuei; Chen, Wei-Ming; Chen, Tain-Hsiung; Tzeng, Yun-Hsuan

    2007-09-01

    Refractory nonunions of the tibia or femur are physically and mentally devastating conditions for the patients, and the treatment is challenging for orthopedic surgeons. The goal of this study was to assess the feasibility and outcome of surgical treatment in recalcitrant nonunions of a lower extremity with bone graft enriched with autologous platelet gel (APG). Twelve patients with four femoral and eight tibial atrophic nonunions after multiple prior procedures were included. All of them were treated with the bone grafting procedures with autograft complex enriched with APG. They were evaluated with radiographs, bone mineral density for bony healing process, and the Short-Form 36 Health Survey for functional outcome. Of the 12 patients, 11 healed at an average of 19.7 weeks after the first attempt and 1 healed after the second attempt at 21 weeks. The bone mineral density continued to increase steadily from early healing to the remodeling phase. Functional status was greatly improved at an average follow-up of 32.4 months. The results of this preliminary study implied the possible potential of bone graft enriched with APG in the treatment of recalcitrant nonunions of the lower extremity. More research is necessary to clarify its role in augmentation of bone graft to enhance healing of nonunion.

  5. Final Environmental Impact Statement for the construction and operation of Claiborne Enrichment Center, Homer, Louisiana (Docket No. 70-3070)

    SciTech Connect

    Zeitoun, A.

    1994-08-01

    This two-volume Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in accordance with regulation 10 CFR Part 51, which implements the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Volume 1 contains the assessment of the potential environmental impacts for licensing the construction and operation of a proposed gaseous centrifuge enrichment facility to be built in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, by Louisiana Energy Services, LP. (LES). The proposed facility would have a production capacity of about 866 metric tons annually of up to 5 weight percent enriched UF{sub 6}, using a proven centrifuge technology. Included in the assessment aremore » construction, both normal operations and potential accidents (internal and external events), and the eventual decontamination and decommissioning (D&D)- of the site. Issues addressed include the purpose and need for the facility, the alternatives to the proposed action, potential disposition of the tails, the site selection process, and environmental justice. The NRC staff concludes that the facility can be constructed and operated with small and acceptable impacts on the public and the environment. The FEIS supports issuance of a license to the applicant, Louisiana Energy Services, to authorize construction and operation of the proposed facility.« less

  6. An Evaluation of Early Reading First (ERF) Preschool Enrichment on Language and Literacy Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gonzalez, Jorge E.; Goetz, Ernest T.; Hall, Robert J.; Payne, Tara; Taylor, Aaron B.; Kim, Minjung; McCormick, Anita S.

    2011-01-01

    Early Reading First (ERF) was created to address problems related to language and development among economically disadvantaged and language-minority preschool children through quality classroom processes, professional development, and instruction. More than any previous initiative, ERF specifies what early literacy instruction should look like in…

  7. Environmental enrichment and social interaction improve cognitive function and decrease reactive oxidative species in normal adult mice.

    PubMed

    Doulames, Vanessa; Lee, Sangmook; Shea, Thomas B

    2014-05-01

    Environmental stimulation and increased social interactions stimulate cognitive performance, while decrease in these parameters can exacerbate cognitive decline as a function of illness, injury, or age. We examined the impact of environmental stimulation and social interactions on cognitive performance in healthy adult C57B1/6J mice. Mice were housed for 1 month individually or in groups of three (to prevent or allow social interaction) in either a standard environment (SE) or an enlarged cage containing nesting material and items classically utilized to stimulate exploration and activity ("enriched environment"; EE). Cognitive performance was tested by Y maze navigation and Novel Object Recognition (NOR; which compares the relative amount of time mice spent investigating a novel vs. a familiar object). Mice maintained for 1 month under isolated conditions in the SE statistically declined in performance versus baseline in the Y maze (p < 0.02; ANOVA). Performance under all other conditions did not change from baseline. Maintenance in groups in the SE statistically improved NOR (p < 0.01), whereas maintenance in isolation in the SE did not alter performance from baseline. Maintenance in the EE statistically improved performance in NOR for mice housed in groups and individually (p < 0.01). Maintenance under isolated conditions slightly increased reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) in brain. Environmental enrichment did not influence ROS/RNS. These findings indicate that environmental and social enrichment can positively influence cognitive performance in healthy adult mice, and support the notion that proactive approaches may delay age-related cognitive decline.

  8. Environmental Effects on the Metallicities of Early-Type Galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Christine; Oliversen, Ronald (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    We completed and published two papers in the Astrophysical Journal based on research from grant. In the first paper we analyzed nine X-ray-bright Virgo early-type galaxies observed by both ASCA and ROSAT. Through spatially resolved spectroscopy, we determined the radial temperature profiles and abundances of Mg, Si, and Fe for six galaxies. The temperature profiles are consistent with isothermal temperatures outside of cooler regions at the galaxies' centers. We present new evidence for iron abundance gradients in NGC 4472 and NGC 4649 and confirm the previous results on NGC 4636. Mg and Si abundance gradients on average are flatter than those of iron and correspond to an underabundance of α-process elements at high Fe values, while at low iron the element ratios favor enrichment by Type II supernovae (SNe). We explain the observed trend using the metallicity dependence of SN Ia metal production and present constraints on the available theoretical modeling for low-metallicity inhibition of SNe Ia. In the second paper We analyzed nine X-ray-bright Virgo early-type galaxies observed by both ASCA and ROSAT. Through spatially resolved spectroscopy, we determined the radial temperature profiles and abundances of Mg, Si, and Fe for six galaxies. The temperature profiles are consistent with isothermal temperatures outside of cooler regions at the galaxies' centers. We present new evidence for iron abundance gradients in NGC 4472 and NGC 4649 and confirm the previous results on NGC 4636. Mg and Si abundance gradients on average are flatter than those of iron and correspond to an underabundance of α-process elements at high Fe values, while at low iron the element ratios favor enrichment by Type I1 supernovae (SNe). We explain the observed trend using the metallicity dependence of SN Ia metal production and present constraints on the available theoretical modeling for low-metallicity inhibition of SNe Ia.

  9. Polyphenols-enriched Chardonnay white wine and sparkling Pinot Noir red wine identically prevent early atherosclerosis in hamsters.

    PubMed

    Auger, Cyril; Rouanet, Jean-Max; Vanderlinde, Regina; Bornet, Aurélie; Décordé, Kelly; Lequeux, Nadine; Cristol, Jean-Paul; Teissedre, Pierre-Louis

    2005-12-14

    The effects of a white wine enriched with polyphenols (PEWW) from Chardonnay grapes and of a sparkling red wine (SRW) from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes were studied for the first time on early atherosclerosis in hamsters. Animals were fed an atherogenic diet for 12 weeks. They received by force-feeding PEWW, SRW, ethanol 12% (ETH), or water as control (mimicking a moderate consumption of approximately 2 red wine glasses per meal for a 70 kg human). Plasma cholesterol concentrations were lower in groups that consumed PEWW and SRW accompanied by an increase in the ratio apo A-1/apo B. Liver-specific activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase were significantly increased by PEWW (38 and 16%, respectively) and by SRW (48 and 15%, respectively). PEWW and ETH significantly increased plasma antioxidant capacity and vitamin A concentrations. Aortic fatty streak area (AFSA) was significantly strongly reduced in the groups receiving PEWW (85%) and SRW (89%) in comparison with the control. AFSA was reduced by ethanol to a lesser extent (58%). These data suggest that tannins from the phenolics-enriched white wine induce a protective effect against early atherosclerosis comparable to that produced by sparkling red wine containing tanins and anthocyanins and dissociated from the antioxidant action of these compounds.

  10. Dopamine Transporter Neuroimaging as an Enrichment Biomarker in Early Parkinson's Disease Clinical Trials: A Disease Progression Modeling Analysis.

    PubMed

    Conrado, Daniela J; Nicholas, Timothy; Tsai, Kuenhi; Macha, Sreeraj; Sinha, Vikram; Stone, Julie; Corrigan, Brian; Bani, Massimo; Muglia, Pierandrea; Watson, Ian A; Kern, Volker D; Sheveleva, Elena; Marek, Kenneth; Stephenson, Diane T; Romero, Klaus

    2018-01-01

    Given the recognition that disease-modifying therapies should focus on earlier Parkinson's disease stages, trial enrollment based purely on clinical criteria poses significant challenges. The goal herein was to determine the utility of dopamine transporter neuroimaging as an enrichment biomarker in early motor Parkinson's disease clinical trials. Patient-level longitudinal data of 672 subjects with early-stage Parkinson's disease in the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) observational study and the Parkinson Research Examination of CEP-1347 Trial (PRECEPT) clinical trial were utilized in a linear mixed-effects model analysis. The rate of worsening in the motor scores between subjects with or without a scan without evidence of dopamine transporter deficit was different both statistically and clinically. The average difference in the change from baseline of motor scores at 24 months between biomarker statuses was -3.16 (90% confidence interval [CI] = -0.96 to -5.42) points. Dopamine transporter imaging could identify subjects with a steeper worsening of the motor scores, allowing trial enrichment and 24% reduction of sample size. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Clinical and Translational Science published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

  11. Selection Based on Indirect Genetic Effects for Growth, Environmental Enrichment and Coping Style Affect the Immune Status of Pigs

    PubMed Central

    Reimert, Inonge; Rodenburg, T. Bas; Ursinus, Winanda W.; Kemp, Bas; Bolhuis, J. Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Pigs living in intensive husbandry systems may experience both acute and chronic stress through standard management procedures and limitations in their physical and social environment, which may have implications for their immune status. Here, the effect of a new breeding method where pigs were selected on their heritable influence on their pen mates' growth, and environmental enrichment on the immune status of pigs was investigated. Hereto, 240 pigs with a relatively positive genetic effect on the growth of their pen mates (+SBV) and 240 pigs with a relatively negative genetic effect on the growth of their pen mates (−SBV) were housed in barren or straw-enriched pens from 4 to 23 weeks of age (n  =  80 pens in total). A blood sample was taken from the pigs before, three days after a 24 h regrouping test, and at week 22. In addition, effects of coping style, as assessed in a backtest, and gender were also investigated. Mainly, +SBV were found to have lower leukocyte, lymphocyte and haptoglobin concentrations than -SBV pigs. Enriched housed pigs had a lower neutrophil to lymphocyte (N:L) ratio and lower haptoglobin concentrations, but had higher antibody titers specific for Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin (KLH) than barren housed pigs. No interactions were found between SBV class and housing. Furthermore, pigs with a proactive coping style had higher alternative complement activity and, in the enriched pens, higher antibody titers specific for KLH than pigs with a reactive coping style. Lastly, females tended to have lower leukocyte, but higher haptoglobin concentrations than castrated males. Overall, these results suggest that +SBV pigs and enriched housed pigs were less affected by stress than -SBV and barren housed pigs, respectively. Moreover, immune activation might be differently organized in individuals with different coping styles and to a lesser extent in individuals of opposite genders. PMID:25275507

  12. Selection based on indirect genetic effects for growth, environmental enrichment and coping style affect the immune status of pigs.

    PubMed

    Reimert, Inonge; Rodenburg, T Bas; Ursinus, Winanda W; Kemp, Bas; Bolhuis, J Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Pigs living in intensive husbandry systems may experience both acute and chronic stress through standard management procedures and limitations in their physical and social environment, which may have implications for their immune status. Here, the effect of a new breeding method where pigs were selected on their heritable influence on their pen mates' growth, and environmental enrichment on the immune status of pigs was investigated. Hereto, 240 pigs with a relatively positive genetic effect on the growth of their pen mates (+SBV) and 240 pigs with a relatively negative genetic effect on the growth of their pen mates (-SBV) were housed in barren or straw-enriched pens from 4 to 23 weeks of age (n  =  80 pens in total). A blood sample was taken from the pigs before, three days after a 24 h regrouping test, and at week 22. In addition, effects of coping style, as assessed in a backtest, and gender were also investigated. Mainly, +SBV were found to have lower leukocyte, lymphocyte and haptoglobin concentrations than -SBV pigs. Enriched housed pigs had a lower neutrophil to lymphocyte (N:L) ratio and lower haptoglobin concentrations, but had higher antibody titers specific for Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin (KLH) than barren housed pigs. No interactions were found between SBV class and housing. Furthermore, pigs with a proactive coping style had higher alternative complement activity and, in the enriched pens, higher antibody titers specific for KLH than pigs with a reactive coping style. Lastly, females tended to have lower leukocyte, but higher haptoglobin concentrations than castrated males. Overall, these results suggest that +SBV pigs and enriched housed pigs were less affected by stress than -SBV and barren housed pigs, respectively. Moreover, immune activation might be differently organized in individuals with different coping styles and to a lesser extent in individuals of opposite genders.

  13. Does Environmental Enrichment Exposure Prior to Injury Influence Biomarkers Associated with Chronic Stage TBI?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-12-01

    release; distribution unlimited. 88 ABW/PA Cleared 03/25/2013; 88ABW-2013-1398. enrichment (Grundy et al., 2000; Kohara et al., 2001). BDNF is an...learning and Memory. 69(3):274-289 Kohara , K., Kitamura, A., Morishima, M., Tsumoto, T. (2001). Activity- dependent transfer of brain-derived

  14. Alteration of Cingulate Long-Term Plasticity and Behavioral Sensitization to Inflammation by Environmental Enrichment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shum, Fanny W. F.; Wu, Long-Jun; Zhao, Ming-Gao; Toyoda, Hiroki; Xu, Hui; Ren, Ming; Pinaud, Raphael; Ko, Shanelle W.; Lee, Yong-Seok; Kaang, Bong-Kiun; Zhuo, Min

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to an enriched environment (EE) has been shown to induce cortical plasticity. Considerable amount of research is focused on the effects of EE in the hippocampus; however, effects of EE on other brain regions and the mechanisms involved are not well known. To investigate this, we induced cortical plasticity by placing mice in an EE for one…

  15. Applying behavior-analytic methodology to the science and practice of environmental enrichment in zoos and aquariums.

    PubMed

    Alligood, Christina A; Dorey, Nicole R; Mehrkam, Lindsay R; Leighty, Katherine A

    2017-05-01

    Environmental enrichment in zoos and aquariums is often evaluated at two overlapping levels: published research and day-to-day institutional record keeping. Several authors have discussed ongoing challenges with small sample sizes in between-groups zoological research and have cautioned against the inappropriate use of inferential statistics (Shepherdson, , International Zoo Yearbook, 38, 118-124; Shepherdson, Lewis, Carlstead, Bauman, & Perrin, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147, 298-277; Swaisgood, , Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 102, 139-162; Swaisgood & Shepherdson, , Zoo Biology, 24, 499-518). Multi-institutional studies are the typically-prescribed solution, but these are expensive and difficult to carry out. Kuhar ( Zoo Biology, 25, 339-352) provided a reminder that inferential statistics are only necessary when one wishes to draw general conclusions at the population level. Because welfare is assessed at the level of the individual animal, we argue that evaluations of enrichment efficacy are often instances in which inferential statistics may be neither necessary nor appropriate. In recent years, there have been calls for the application of behavior-analytic techniques to zoo animal behavior management, including environmental enrichment (e.g., Bloomsmith, Marr, & Maple, , Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 102, 205-222; Tarou & Bashaw, , Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 102, 189-204). Single-subject (also called single-case, or small-n) designs provide a means of designing evaluations of enrichment efficacy based on an individual's behavior. We discuss how these designs might apply to research and practice goals at zoos and aquariums, contrast them with standard practices in the field, and give examples of how each could be successfully applied in a zoo or aquarium setting. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Environmental estrogens alter early development in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Bevan, Cassandra L; Porter, Donna M; Prasad, Anita; Howard, Marthe J; Henderson, Leslie P

    2003-04-01

    A growing number of environmental toxicants found in pesticides, herbicides, and industrial solvents are believed to have deleterious effects on development by disrupting hormone-sensitive processes. We exposed Xenopus laevis embryos at early gastrula to the commonly encountered environmental estrogens nonylphenol, octylphenol, and methoxychlor, the antiandrogen, p,p-DDE, or the synthetic androgen, 17 alpha-methyltestosterone at concentrations ranging from 10 nM to 10 microM and examined them at tailbud stages (approximately 48 hr of treatment). Exposure to the three environmental estrogens, as well as to the natural estrogen 17 beta-estradiol, increased mortality, induced morphologic deformations, increased apoptosis, and altered the deposition and differentiation of neural crest-derived melanocytes in tailbud stage embryos. Although neural crest-derived melanocytes were markedly altered in embryos treated with estrogenic toxicants, expression of the early neural crest maker Xslug, a factor that regulates both the induction and subsequent migration of neural crest cells, was not affected, suggesting that the disruption induced by these compounds with respect to melanocyte development may occur at later stages of their differentiation. Co-incubation of embryos with the pure antiestrogen ICI 182,780 blocked the ability of nonylphenol to induce abnormalities in body shape and in melanocyte differentiation but did not block the effects of methoxychlor. Our data indicate not only that acute exposure to these environmental estrogens induces deleterious effects on early vertebrate development but also that different environmental estrogens may alter the fate of a specific cell type via different mechanisms. Finally, our data suggest that the differentiation of neural crest-derived melanocytes may be particularly sensitive to the disruptive actions of these ubiquitous chemical contaminants.

  17. Environmental determinants of allergy and asthma in early life.

    PubMed

    Burbank, Allison J; Sood, Amika K; Kesic, Matthew J; Peden, David B; Hernandez, Michelle L

    2017-07-01

    Allergic disease prevalence has increased significantly in recent decades. Primary prevention efforts are being guided by study of the exposome (or collective environmental exposures beginning during the prenatal period) to identify modifiable factors that affect allergic disease risk. In this review we explore the evidence supporting a relationship between key components of the external exposome in the prenatal and early-life periods and their effect on atopy development focused on microbial, allergen, and air pollution exposures. The abundance and diversity of microbial exposures during the first months and years of life have been linked with risk of allergic sensitization and disease. Indoor environmental allergen exposure during early life can also affect disease development, depending on the allergen type, dose, and timing of exposure. Recent evidence supports the role of ambient air pollution in allergic disease inception. The lack of clarity in the literature surrounding the relationship between environment and atopy reflects the complex interplay between cumulative environmental factors and genetic susceptibility, such that no one factor dictates disease development in all subjects. Understanding the effect of the summation of environmental exposures throughout a child's development is needed to identify cost-effective interventions that reduce atopy risk in children. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Short-term environmental enrichment is sufficient to counter stress-induced anxiety and associated structural and molecular plasticity in basolateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Ashokan, Archana; Hegde, Akshaya; Mitra, Rupshi

    2016-07-01

    Moderate levels of anxiety enable individual animals to cope with stressors through avoidance, and could be an adaptive trait. However, repeated stress exacerbates anxiety to pathologically high levels. Dendritic remodeling in the basolateral amygdala is proposed to mediate potentiation of anxiety after stress. Similarly, modulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor is thought to be important for the behavioral effects of stress. In the present study, we investigate if relatively short periods of environmental enrichment in adulthood can confer resilience against stress-induced anxiety and concomitant changes in neuronal arborisation and brain derived neurotrophic factor within basolateral amygdala. Two weeks of environmental enrichment countermanded the propensity of increased anxiety following chronic immobilization stress. Environmental enrichment concurrently reduced dendritic branching and spine density of projection neurons of the basolateral amygdala. Moreover, stress increased abundance of BDNF mRNA in the basolateral amygdala in agreement with the dendritic hypertrophy post-stress and role of BDNF in promoting dendritic arborisation. In contrast, environmental enrichment prevented stress-induced rise in the BDNF mRNA abundance. Gain in body weights and adrenal weights remained unaffected by exposure to environmental enrichment. These observations suggest that a short period of environmental enrichment can provide resilience against maladaptive effects of stress on hormonal, neuronal and molecular mediators of anxiogenesis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Mid-life environmental enrichment increases synaptic density in CA1 in a mouse model of Aβ-associated pathology and positively influences synaptic and cognitive health in healthy ageing.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Kimberley E; King, Anna E; Fernandez-Martos, Carmen M; Dittmann, Justin; Summers, Mathew J; Vickers, James C

    2017-06-01

    Early-life cognitive enrichment may reduce the risk of experiencing cognitive deterioration and dementia in later-life. However, an intervention to prevent or delay dementia is likely to be taken up in mid to later-life. Hence, we investigated the effects of environmental enrichment in wildtype mice and in a mouse model of Aβ neuropathology (APP SWE /PS1 dE9 ) from 6 months of age. After 6 months of housing in standard laboratory cages, APP SWE /PS1 dE9 (n = 27) and healthy wildtype (n = 21) mice were randomly assigned to either enriched or standard housing. At 12 months of age, wildtype mice showed altered synaptic protein levels and relatively superior cognitive performance afforded by environmental enrichment. Environmental enrichment was not associated with alterations to Aβ plaque pathology in the neocortex or hippocampus of APP SWE /PS1 dE9 mice. However, a significant increase in synaptophysin immunolabeled puncta in the hippocampal subregion, CA1, in APP SWE /PS1 dE9 mice was detected, with no significant synaptic density changes observed in CA3, or the Fr2 region of the prefrontal cortex. Moreover, a significant increase in hippocampal BDNF was detected in APP SWE /PS1 dE9 mice exposed to EE, however, no changes were detected in neocortex or between Wt animals. These results demonstrate that mid to later-life cognitive enrichment has the potential to promote synaptic and cognitive health in ageing, and to enhance compensatory capacity for synaptic connectivity in pathological ageing associated with Aβ deposition. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Anxiolytic effects of environmental enrichment attenuate sex-related anxiogenic effects of scopolamine in rats.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Robert N; Otto, Maria T

    2013-01-10

    In groups of four same-sexed animals, PVG/c hooded rats were housed for 4.5 months in standard or enriched cages containing several objects that could be explored and manipulated. On separate occasions, each rat then experienced two consecutive daily trials in an open field, a light-dark box or a Y maze with arm inserts that enabled an acquisition trial comprising one black and one white arm to be changed for a retention trial consisting of two black arms. Before their trials in the open field and light-dark box, and following each acquisition trial in the Y maze, the rats received an intraperitoneal injection of 2 mg/kg scopolamine or isotonic saline. In the open field, enrichment led to higher levels of ambulation, walking, rearing and occupancy of the center of the apparatus and shorter emergence latencies from the dark into the light compartment of the light-dark box accompanied by more entries of this compartment. Enrichment also increased entries of and time spent in the changed (or novel) Y-maze arm only for male rats treated with scopolamine. The drug decreased rearing and increased grooming in the open field as well as increasing emergence latencies and decreasing entries of and the time spent on the light compartment of the light-dark box. The main results were interpreted as enrichment having attenuated anxiogenic effects of the behavioral testing and the action of scopolamine for male (but not female) rats in their choices of the novel arm in the Y maze. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. A method to assess relative preference for training and environmental enrichment in captive wolves (Canis lupus and Canis lupus arctos).

    PubMed

    Dorey, Nicole R; Mehrkam, Lindsay R; Tacey, Jay

    2015-11-01

    It is currently debated as to whether or not positive reinforcement training is enriching to captive animals. Although both husbandry training and environmental enrichment (EE) have been found to benefit animal welfare in captivity, to date, no systematic investigation has compared an animal's preference for performing a trained behavior to engaging freely with a stimuli provided as EE. In the current paper, we used four captive wolves to (1) test the efficacy of a paired-stimulus preference assessment to determine preference for engaging in a trained behavior as a choice; and to (2) use a paired-stimulus preference assessment to determine whether or not individuals prefer to engage in a previously trained behavior versus a previously encountered EE stimuli. Of the four subjects tested, visual inspection of the graphs revealed that two of the subjects preferred trained behavior stimuli and two of the subjects preferred EE stimuli; only one of the wolves had a statically higher preference for an EE stimulus over a trained behavior. We believe that letting the animals choose between these two events is the first step in answering the question of whether or not is training enriching, however more research needs to be done and suggestions for future research is discussed. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Divergent response of the neritic carbonate factory to environmental changes during the Early Bajocian Event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodin, Stephane; Hönig, Martin; Krencker, Francois-Nicolas; Danisch, Jan; Kabiri, Lahcen

    2017-04-01

    The Early Bajocian witnessed a global environmental perturbation, characterized by faunal and floral turnovers and a positive carbon isotope excursion. In Italy, this environmental perturbation coincided with an eutrophication event and a carbonate crisis, but this has so far not been adequately reported from other settings, leaving doubt about the extent and nature of these phenomena. Here, we are reporting on an extensive neritic carbonate factory demise that occurs in the upper Lower Bajocian of the Central High Atlas of Morocco, more precisely in the upper Propinquans - lower Humphriesianum Zones. This demise coincided with the acme of the global carbon isotope perturbation, recorded by a 3‰ positive carbon isotope excursion in the bulk organic matter of Morocco. Recovery of the neritic carbonate system occurs during the Early to Late Bajocian transition. The duration of the neritic carbonate factory demise was therefore in the order of 1 Myr. Furthermore, we observe that the Lower Bajocian of Morocco is relatively enriched in arenitic siliciclastic deposits, suggesting increased weathering and nutrient levels along the northwestern margin of Africa during the Early Bajocian. However, comparison with neighboring European basins highlights the non-uniqueness and different timing of the response of shallow-water carbonates to the Early Bajocian environmental perturbations, as some regions present no sign of carbonate factory crisis. Hence, we postulate that local factors were important in mediating the response of neritic carbonate factories to this global environmental perturbation. We notably highlight the role of large Early Bajocian sea-level fluctuation as a trigger for carbonate factory change and demise in Morocco. Indeed, in the Central High Atlas Basin, transgressive intervals are seeing the development of a mud-dominated carbonate factory whereas regressive intervals are associated with grain-dominated carbonate factory. We speculate that the

  3. Reflections on the Development and Implementation of an Enrichment Program in Early Childhood: A Metaphorical Representation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garvis, Susanne; Prendergast, Donna

    2015-01-01

    The profile of gifted education is being raised in Queensland (Australia) schools in recognition of the potential benefits to students of engaging in such programs. Little is known, however, about what types of programs are being delivered, especially in the early years. Since many programs are created by individuals, it is important to understand…

  4. Recurrent perseveration correlates with abnormal repetitive locomotion in adult mink but is not reduced by environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Dallaire, Jamie A; Meagher, Rebecca K; Díez-León, María; Garner, Joseph P; Mason, Georgia J

    2011-10-31

    We analysed the relationship between abnormal repetitive behaviour (ARB), the presence/absence of environmental enrichment, and two types of behavioural disinhibition in farmed American mink, Neovison vison. The first type, recurrent perseveration, the inappropriate repetition of already completed responses, was assessed using three indices of excessive response repetition and patterning in a bias-corrected serial two-choice guessing task. The second type, disinhibition of prepotent responses to reward cues, a form of impulsivity, was tested in a locomotive detour task adapted from primate reaching tasks: subjects were required to walk around, rather than directly into, a transparent barrier behind which food was visible. In older adult females, recurrent perseveration positively predicted pre-feeding abnormal repetitive locomotion (ARL) in Non-enriched housing. High-ARL subjects also performed repeated (same-choice) responses more rapidly than low-ARL animals, even when statistically controlling for alternated (different-choice) response latency. Mink performed much less ARL following transfer to Enriched housing, but there was no corresponding change in recurrent perseveration. Thus, elevated recurrent perseveration is not sufficient for frequent ARL; and while captive environments do determine ARL frequency, in mink, they do not necessarily do so by modifying levels of perseveration. Disinhibition of prepotent responses to reward cues, meanwhile, did not predict ARL. In a separate sample of differentially housed young adults, neither type of behavioural disinhibition predicted ARL, and again, whether or not housing was enriched did not affect behavioural disinhibition despite affecting ARL. Thus, the relationship between recurrent perseveration and ARB may only develop with age; longitudinal studies are now required for confirmation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Early environmental therapy rescues brain development in a mouse model of Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Begenisic, Tatjana; Sansevero, Gabriele; Baroncelli, Laura; Cioni, Giovanni; Sale, Alessandro

    2015-10-01

    Down syndrome (DS), the most common genetic disorder associated with intellectual disabilities, is an untreatable condition characterized by a number of developmental defects and permanent deficits in the adulthood. Ts65Dn mice, the major animal model for DS, display severe cognitive and synaptic plasticity defects closely resembling the human phenotype. Here, we employed a multidisciplinary approach to investigate, for the first time in developing Ts65Dn mice, the effects elicited by early environmental enrichment (EE) on brain maturation and function. We report that exposure to EE resulted in a robust increase in maternal care levels displayed by Ts65Dn mothers and led to a normalization of declarative memory abilities and hippocampal plasticity in trisomic offspring. The positive effects of EE on Ts65Dn phenotype were not limited to the cognitive domain, but also included a rescue of visual system maturation. The beneficial EE effects were accompanied by increased BDNF and correction of over-expression of the GABA vesicular transporter vGAT. These findings highlight the beneficial impact of early environmental stimuli and their potential for application in the treatment of major functional deficits in children with DS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Dopamine Transporter Neuroimaging as an Enrichment Biomarker in Early Parkinson's Disease Clinical Trials: A Disease Progression Modeling Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Nicholas, Timothy; Tsai, Kuenhi; Macha, Sreeraj; Sinha, Vikram; Stone, Julie; Corrigan, Brian; Bani, Massimo; Muglia, Pierandrea; Watson, Ian A.; Kern, Volker D.; Sheveleva, Elena; Marek, Kenneth; Stephenson, Diane T.; Romero, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Given the recognition that disease‐modifying therapies should focus on earlier Parkinson's disease stages, trial enrollment based purely on clinical criteria poses significant challenges. The goal herein was to determine the utility of dopamine transporter neuroimaging as an enrichment biomarker in early motor Parkinson's disease clinical trials. Patient‐level longitudinal data of 672 subjects with early‐stage Parkinson's disease in the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) observational study and the Parkinson Research Examination of CEP‐1347 Trial (PRECEPT) clinical trial were utilized in a linear mixed‐effects model analysis. The rate of worsening in the motor scores between subjects with or without a scan without evidence of dopamine transporter deficit was different both statistically and clinically. The average difference in the change from baseline of motor scores at 24 months between biomarker statuses was –3.16 (90% confidence interval [CI] = –0.96 to –5.42) points. Dopamine transporter imaging could identify subjects with a steeper worsening of the motor scores, allowing trial enrichment and 24% reduction of sample size. PMID:28749580

  7. Enrichment of Thorium (Th) and Lead (Pb) in the early Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aoki, Wako; Honda, Satoshi

    2010-03-01

    We have been determining abundances of Th, Pb and other neutron-capture elements in metal-deficient cool giant stars to constrain the enrichment of heavy elements by the r- and s-processes. Our current sample covers the metallicity range between [Fe/H] = -2.5 and -1.0. (1) The abundance ratios of Pb/Fe and Pb/Eu of most of our stars are approximately constant, and no increase of these ratios with increasing metallicity is found. This result suggests that the Pb abundances of our sample are determined by the r-process with no or little contribution of the s-process. (2) The Th/Eu abundance ratios of our sample show no significant scatter, and the average is lower by 0.2 dex in the logarithmic scale than the solar-system value. This result indicates that the actinides production by the r-process does not show large dispersion, even though r-process models suggest high sensitivity of the actinides production to the nucleosynthesis environment.

  8. Effects of environmental enrichment on reproductive performance and quantity and morphology of cumulus-oocyte complexes obtained from Rattus norvegicus.

    PubMed

    Fisch, Joana; Oliveira, Iáskara Vieira de; Fank, Juliana; Paim, Lia Mara Gomes; Zandoná, Marília Remuzzi; Lopes, Eliana Franco; Mello, Fernanda Bastos de; Oliveira, Alexandre Tavares Duarte de

    2017-05-01

    Several researchers have observed that environmental enrichment (EE) can be effective in reducing stressful conditions and abnormal behavior and may provide better reproductive performance in rodents. In this context, this study aimed to evaluate the reproductive performance of Wistar rats reared in three different housing conditions. Animals were separated into breeding pairs, one pair per cage and pairs randomly assigned to three experimental groups (ten couples per group): control group were provided cages without any environmental enrichment; PVC group with PVC pipe; and cardboard roll group with a commercially available cardboard tube. To compare the reproductive performance of the three groups, the following were evaluated: number of pups/litter; number of litters; parturition interval; occurrence of cannibalism; weight gain of offspring; as well as the quantity and quality of cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) obtained after superovulation of the females born from the first, second and last pregnancy in all groups. Moreover, the plasma level of corticosterone in breeding animals was measured. A total of 60 male rats randomly selected from the first- and last-born litters (20 males from each group) were first tested in an elevated plus-maze (EPM) and on the following day, were tested in an open field test (OFT). Significant differences were found in the number and morphological classification of COCs. In the control group, the number of oocytes in grade 4 (unusual shapes and very heterogeneous ooplasm, presenting no layers of surrounding cumulus cells [13]) presented statistically higher rates (225/2535, 8.9%) compared to the other groups, as well as the number of competent oocytes was higher in the enriched groups (p = 0.001). Moreover, we find that the males of cardboard roll group differed significantly in weight gain compared to PVC group (p = 0.008). In addition to this, we did not detect occurrence of cannibalism in this group. Our findings suggest

  9. Effects of environmental enrichment on behavioral and spatial cognitive deficits in morphine-dependent and -withdrawn rats.

    PubMed

    Hammami-Abrand Abadi, Arezoo; Miladi-Gorji, Hossein

    2017-02-01

    This study was designed to examine the effect of environmental enrichment during morphine dependence and withdrawal on morphine-induced behavioral and spatial cognitive disorders in morphine-withdrawn rats. Adult male Wistar rats (190 ± 20 g) were injected with bi-daily doses (10 mg/kg, 12 h intervals) of morphine for 14 days. Rats were reared in SE or EE during the development of dependence on morphine and withdrawal. Then, rats were tested for spatial learning and memory (the water maze), spontaneous withdrawal signs, and grooming behavior. We found that the EE blocked chronic morphine-induced partial impairments of spatial memory retention. Moreover, the EE diminished the occurrence of spontaneous morphine withdrawal signs as mild and the self-grooming behavior. Our findings showed that EE ameliorates chronic morphine-induced partial deficits of spatial cognition, obsessive-like behavior, and the overall severity of the morphine withdrawal. Thus, environmental enrichment may be a potential therapeutic strategy for spatial memory and behavioral deficits in morphine-dependent individuals.

  10. Family Socioeconomic Status and Consistent Environmental Stimulation in Early Childhood

    PubMed Central

    Crosnoe, Robert; Leventhal, Tama; Wirth, R. J.; Pierce, Kim M.; Pianta, Robert

    2010-01-01

    The transition into school occurs at the intersection of multiple environmental settings. This study applied growth curve modeling to a sample of 1,364 American children, followed from birth through age six, who had been categorized by their exposure to cognitive stimulation at home and in preschool child care and first grade classrooms. Of special interest was the unique and combined contribution to early learning of these three settings. Net of socioeconomic selection into different settings, children had higher math achievement when they were consistently stimulated in all three, and they had higher reading achievement when consistently stimulated at home and in child care. The observed benefits of consistent environmental stimulation tended to be more pronounced for low-income children. PMID:20573117

  11. Young, metal-enriched cores in early-type dwarf galaxies in the Virgo cluster based on colour gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urich, Linda; Lisker, Thorsten; Janz, Joachim; van de Ven, Glenn; Leaman, Ryan; Boselli, Alessandro; Paudel, Sanjaya; Sybilska, Agnieszka; Peletier, Reynier F.; den Brok, Mark; Hensler, Gerhard; Toloba, Elisa; Falcón-Barroso, Jesús; Niemi, Sami-Matias

    2017-10-01

    Early-type dwarf galaxies are not simply featureless, old objects, but were found to be much more diverse, hosting substructures and a variety of stellar population properties. To explore the stellar content of faint early-type galaxies, and to investigate in particular those with recent central star formation, we study colours and colour gradients within one effective radius in optical (g - r) and near-infrared (I - H) bands for 120 Virgo cluster early-type galaxies with - 19 mag early-type galaxies. The metallicity gradients of these blue-cored early-type dwarf galaxies are, however, in the range of most normal faint early-type galaxies, which we find to have non-zero gradients with higher central metallicity. The blue central regions are consistent with star formation activity within the last few 100 Myr. We discuss whether these galaxies could be explained by environmental quenching of star formation in the outer galaxy regions while the inner star formation activity continued.

  12. Environmental Effects on the Metallicities of Early-Type Galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Christine; Oliversen, Ronald J. (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    We have completed and published two papers based on research from this grant. Our first paper "SN IA Enrichment in Virgo Early-type Galaxies from ROSAT and ASCA Observations" was published in the Astrophysical Journal (vol 539,603) reported on the properties of nine X-ray bright elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster observed by ROSAT and ASCA. We measured iron abundance gradients as a function of radius in three galaxies. We found that the magnesium and silicon abundance gradients were in general flatter than those of iron. We suggest this is due to a metallicity dependence in the metal production rates of SN Ia's. We calculate SN Ia rates in the center of these galaxies that are comparable to those measured optically. Our second paper "ASCA Observations of Groups at Radii of Low Overdensity: Implications for Cosmic Preheating" also was published in the Astrophysical Journal (vol 578, 74). This paper reported on the ASCA spectroscopy of nine groups of galaxies. We found that the entropy profile in groups is driven by nongravitational heating processes, and could be explained by a short period of preheating by galactic winds.

  13. Environmental enrichment reduces chronic psychosocial stress-induced anxiety and ethanol-related behaviors in mice.

    PubMed

    Bahi, Amine

    2017-07-03

    Previous research from our laboratory has shown that exposure to chronic psychosocial stress increased voluntary ethanol consumption and preference as well as acquisition of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) in mice. This study was done to determine whether an enriched environment could have "curative" effects on chronic psychosocial stress-induced ethanol intake and CPP. For this purpose, experimental mice "intruders" were exposed to the chronic subordinate colony (CSC) housing for 19 consecutive days in the presence of an aggressive "resident" mouse. At the end of that period, mice were tested for their anxiety-like behavior using the elevated plus maze (EPM) test then housed in a standard or enriched environment (SE or EE respectively). Anxiety and ethanol-related behaviors were investigated using the open field (OF) test, a standard two-bottle choice drinking paradigm, and the CPP procedure. As expected, CSC exposure increased anxiety-like behavior and reduced weight gain as compared to single housed colony (SHC) controls. In addition, CSC exposure increased voluntary ethanol intake and ethanol-CPP. Interestingly, we found that EE significantly and consistently reduced anxiety and ethanol consumption and preference. However, neither tastants' (saccharin and quinine) intake nor blood ethanol metabolism were affected by EE. Finally, and most importantly, EE reduced the acquisition of CPP induced by 1.5g/kg ethanol. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that EE can reduce voluntary ethanol intake and ethanol-induced conditioned reward and seems to be one of the strategies to reduce the behavioral deficits and the risk of anxiety-induced alcohol abuse. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Defensive behaviors and prosencephalic neurogenesis in pigeons (Columba livia) are affected by environmental enrichment in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Melleu, F F; Pinheiro, M V; Lino-de-Oliveira, C; Marino-Neto, J

    2016-05-01

    Neurogenesis in the adult brain appears to be phylogenetically conserved across the animal kingdom. In pigeons and other adult non-oscine birds, immature neurons are observed in several prosencephalic areas, suggesting that neurogenesis may participate in the control of different behaviors. The mechanisms controlling neurogenesis and its relevance to defensive behaviors in non-oscine birds remain elusive. Herein, the contribution of the environment to behavior and neurogenesis of pigeons was investigated. Adult pigeons (Columba livia, n = 6/group), housed in standard (SE) or enriched environment (EE) for 42 days, were exposed to an unfamiliar environment (UE) followed by presentation to a novel object (NO). Video recordings of UE+NO tests were analyzed and scored for latency, duration and frequency of angular head movements, peeping, grooming, immobility and locomotion. Twenty-four hours later, pigeons were submitted to the tonic immobility test (TI) and number of trials for TI and TI duration were scored, followed by euthanasia 2 h later. Brains were immunohistochemically processed to reveal doublecortin (DCX), a marker for newborn neurons. Compared to those housed in SE, the pigeons housed in EE responded to a NO with more immobility. In addition, the pigeons housed in EE presented longer TI, more DCX-immunoreactive (DCX-ir) cells in the hippocampus and fewer DCX-ir cells in the lateral striatum than those housed in SE. There was no correlation between the number of DCX-ir cells and the scores of immobility in behavioral tests. Together, these data suggest that enrichment favored behavioral inhibition and neurogenesis in the adult pigeons through different, parallel mechanisms.

  15. Parent-directed approaches to enrich the early language environments of children living in poverty.

    PubMed

    Leffel, Kristin; Suskind, Dana

    2013-11-01

    Children's early language environments are critical for their cognitive development, school readiness, and ultimate educational attainment. Significant disparities exist in these environments, with profound and lasting impacts upon children's ultimate outcomes. Children from backgrounds of low socioeconomic status experience diminished language inputs and enter school at a disadvantage, with disparities persisting throughout their educational careers. Parents are positioned as powerful agents of change in their children's lives, however, and evidence indicates that parent-directed intervention is effective in improving child outcomes. This article explores the efficacy of parent-directed interventions and their potential applicability to the wider educational achievement gap seen in typically developing populations of low socioeconomic status and then describes efforts to develop such interventions with the Thirty Million Words Project and Project ASPIRE (Achieving Superior Parental Involvement for Rehabilitative Excellence) curricula. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  16. Early Recovery of Salmonella from Food Using a 6-Hour Non-selective Pre-enrichment and Reformulation of Tetrathionate Broth.

    PubMed

    Daquigan, Ninalynn; Grim, Christopher J; White, James R; Hanes, Darcy E; Jarvis, Karen G

    2016-01-01

    Culture based methods are commonly employed to detect pathogens in food and environmental samples. These methods are time consuming and complex, requiring multiple non-selective and selective enrichment broths, and usually take at least 1 week to recover and identify pathogens. Improving pathogen detection in foods is a primary goal for regulatory agencies and industry. Salmonella detection in food relies on a series of culture steps in broth formulations optimized to resuscitate Salmonella and reduce the abundance of competitive bacteria. Examples of non-selective pre-enrichment broths used to isolate Salmonella from food include Lactose, Universal Pre-enrichment, BPW, and Trypticase Soy broths. Tetrathionate (TT) and Rappaport-Vassiliadis (RV) broths are employed after a 24-h non-selective enrichment to select for Salmonella and hamper the growth of competitive bacteria. In this study, we tested a new formulation of TT broth that lacks brilliant green dye and has lower levels of TT . We employed this TT broth formulation in conjunction with a 6-h non-selective pre-enrichment period and determined that Salmonella recovery was possible one day earlier than standard food culture methods. We tested the shortened culture method in different non-selective enrichment broths, enumerated Salmonella in the non-selective enrichments, and used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to determine the proportional abundances of Salmonella in the TT and RV selective enrichments. Together these data revealed that a 6-h non-selective pre-enrichment reduces the levels of competitive bacteria inoculated into the selective TT and RV broths, enabling the recovery of Salmonella 1 day earlier than standard culture enrichment methods.

  17. Neonatal handling and environmental enrichment increase the expression of GAP-43 in the hippocampus and promote cognitive abilities in prenatally stressed rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhengyu; Zhang, Hua; Du, Baoling; Chen, Zhiqiang

    2012-07-26

    Neonatal handling and environmental enrichment have been used to aid the treatment and recovery of a diverse variety of brain dysfunctions. However, the underlying mechanism and the effects on cognitive function following neonatal handling and environmental enrichment are still unclear. In this study, we investigated GAP-43 protein levels in the hippocampus of prenatally stressed rat pups by Western blot on postnatal day (P) 10, P20 and P45. The cognitive ability of prenatally stressed rat pups was tested by using the Morris water maze on P45. GAP-43 protein levels were upregulated on P10 in the prenatal restraint stress (RS) group and the prenatal restraint stress plus neonatal handling and environmental enrichment (RE) group compared to the negative control (NC) group. However, the expression of GAP-43 in RS pups was lower on P20 and P45 than that in NC and RE pups. Exposure to prenatal stress prolonged average latency and total swim distance, but neonatal handling and environmental enrichment could reverse the change. Differences were also observed in the selection of search strategies. These results indicate that neonatal handling and environmental enrichment can improve the spatial learning and memory ability of prenatally stressed offspring, and the possible mechanism is the upregulation of GAP-43. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  18. Element Abundances in a Gas-rich Galaxy at z = 5: Clues to the Early Chemical Enrichment of Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, Sean; Kulkarni, Varsha P.; Som, Debopam; DeMarcy, Bryan; Quiret, Samuel; Péroux, Celine

    2016-10-01

    Element abundances in high-redshift quasar absorbers offer excellent probes of the chemical enrichment of distant galaxies, and can constrain models for population III and early population II stars. Recent observations indicate that the sub-damped Lyα (sub-DLA) absorbers are more metal-rich than DLA absorbers at redshifts 0 < z < 3. It has also been suggested that DLA metallicity drops suddenly at z > 4.7. However, only three DLAs at z > 4.5 and no sub-DLAs at z > 3.5 have “dust-free” metallicity measurements of undepleted elements. We report the first quasar sub-DLA metallicity measurement at z > 3.5, from detections of undepleted elements in high-resolution data for a sub-DLA at z = 5.0. We obtain fairly robust abundances of C, O, Si, and Fe, using lines outside the Lyα forest. This absorber is metal-poor, with [O/H] = -2.00 ± 0.12, which is ≳4σ below the level expected from extrapolation of the trend for z < 3.5 sub-DLAs. The C/O ratio is {1.8}-0.3+0.4 times lower than in the Sun. More strikingly, Si/O is {3.2}-0.5+0.6 times lower than in the Sun, whereas Si/Fe is nearly (1.2{}-0.3+0.4 times) solar. This absorber does not display a clear alpha/Fe enhancement. Dust depletion may have removed more Si from the gas phase than is common in the Milky Way interstellar medium, which may be expected if high-redshift supernovae form more silicate-rich dust. C/O and Si/O vary substantially between different velocity components, indicating spatial variations in dust depletion and/or early stellar nucleosynthesis (e.g., population III star initial mass function). The higher velocity gas may trace an outflow enriched by early stars. Based on observations obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  19. Aqueous magnesium as an environmental selection pressure in the evolution of phospholipid membranes on early earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalai, Punam; Ustriyana, Putu; Sahai, Nita

    2018-02-01

    Early compartmentalization of simple biomolecules by membrane bilayers was, presumably, a critical step in the emergence of the first cell-like entities, protocells. Their membranes were likely composed of single chain amphiphiles (SCAs), but pure SCA membranes especially those with short-chains are highly unstable towards divalent cations, which are ubiquitous in aqueous environments. The prebiotic synthesis of phospholipids (PLs), even in only trace amounts, may also have been possible. PL membranes are much more stable towards divalent cations. Here, we show the transition of fatty acid membranes to mixed fatty acid-PL and, finally, to PL membranes in the presence of Mg2+, which acts as an environmental selection pressure, and we propose different mechanisms for the observed increased Mg2+-immunity. The "fatal" concentration ([Mg2+]fatal) at which vesicles are disrupted increased dramatically by an order of magnitude from OA to mixed to POPC vesicles. Two mechanisms for the increasing immunity were determined. The negative charge density of the vesicles decreased with increasing POPC content, so more Mg2+ was required for disruption. More interestingly, Mg2+ preferentially bound to and abstracted OA from mixed lipid membranes, resulting in relatively POPC-enriched vesicles compared to the initial ratio. The effect was the most dramatic for the largest initial OA-POPC ratio representing the most primitive protocells. Thus, Mg2+ acted to evolve the mixed membrane composition towards PL enrichment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of selective lipid abstraction from mixed SCA-PL vesicles. These results may hold implications for accommodating prebiotic Mg2+-promoted processes such as non-enzymatic RNA polymerization on early Earth.

  20. Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Doublecortin and BDNF Expression along the Dorso-Ventral Axis of the Dentate Gyrus

    PubMed Central

    Gualtieri, Fabio; Brégère, Catherine; Laws, Grace C.; Armstrong, Elena A.; Wylie, Nicholas J.; Moxham, Theo T.; Guzman, Raphael; Boswell, Timothy; Smulders, Tom V.

    2017-01-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) in the dentate gyrus is known to respond to environmental enrichment, chronic stress, and many other factors. The function of AHN may vary across the septo-temporal axis of the hippocampus, as different subdivisions are responsible for different functions. The dorsal pole regulates cognitive-related behaviors, while the ventral pole mediates mood-related responses through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In this study, we investigate different methods of quantifying the effect of environmental enrichment on AHN in the dorsal and ventral parts of the dentate gyrus (dDG and vDG). To this purpose, 11-week-old female CD-1 mice were assigned for 8 days to one of two conditions: the Environmental Enrichment (E) group received (i) running wheels, (ii) larger cages, (iii) plastic tunnels, and (iv) bedding with male urine, while the Control (C) group received standard housing. Dorsal CA (Cornu Ammonis) and DG regions were larger in the E than the C animals. Distance run linearly predicted the volume of the dorsal hippocampus, as well as of the intermediate and ventral CA regions. In the dDG, the amount of Doublecortin (DCX) immunoreactivity was significantly higher in E than in C mice. Surprisingly, this pattern was the opposite in the vDG (C > E). Real-time PCR measurement of Dcx mRNA and DCX protein analysis using ELISA showed the same pattern. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) immunoreactivity and mRNA displayed no difference between E and C, suggesting that upregulation of DCX was not caused by changes in BDNF levels. BDNF levels were higher in vDG than in dDG, as measured by both methods. Bdnf expression in vDG correlated positively with the distance run by individual E mice. The similarity in the patterns of immunoreactivity, mRNA and protein for differential DCX expression and for BDNF distribution suggests that the latter two methods might be effective tools for more rapid quantification of AHN. PMID:28966570

  1. Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Doublecortin and BDNF Expression along the Dorso-Ventral Axis of the Dentate Gyrus.

    PubMed

    Gualtieri, Fabio; Brégère, Catherine; Laws, Grace C; Armstrong, Elena A; Wylie, Nicholas J; Moxham, Theo T; Guzman, Raphael; Boswell, Timothy; Smulders, Tom V

    2017-01-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) in the dentate gyrus is known to respond to environmental enrichment, chronic stress, and many other factors. The function of AHN may vary across the septo-temporal axis of the hippocampus, as different subdivisions are responsible for different functions. The dorsal pole regulates cognitive-related behaviors, while the ventral pole mediates mood-related responses through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In this study, we investigate different methods of quantifying the effect of environmental enrichment on AHN in the dorsal and ventral parts of the dentate gyrus (dDG and vDG). To this purpose, 11-week-old female CD-1 mice were assigned for 8 days to one of two conditions: the Environmental Enrichment (E) group received (i) running wheels, (ii) larger cages, (iii) plastic tunnels, and (iv) bedding with male urine, while the Control (C) group received standard housing. Dorsal CA ( Cornu Ammonis ) and DG regions were larger in the E than the C animals. Distance run linearly predicted the volume of the dorsal hippocampus, as well as of the intermediate and ventral CA regions. In the dDG, the amount of Doublecortin (DCX) immunoreactivity was significantly higher in E than in C mice. Surprisingly, this pattern was the opposite in the vDG (C > E). Real-time PCR measurement of Dcx mRNA and DCX protein analysis using ELISA showed the same pattern. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) immunoreactivity and mRNA displayed no difference between E and C, suggesting that upregulation of DCX was not caused by changes in BDNF levels. BDNF levels were higher in vDG than in dDG, as measured by both methods. Bdnf expression in vDG correlated positively with the distance run by individual E mice. The similarity in the patterns of immunoreactivity, mRNA and protein for differential DCX expression and for BDNF distribution suggests that the latter two methods might be effective tools for more rapid quantification of AHN.

  2. Effects of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor agonists on environmental enrichment attenuated sucrose cue reactivity in rats.

    PubMed

    Glueck, Edwin; Ginder, Darren; Hyde, Jeff; North, Katherine; Grimm, Jeffrey W

    2017-03-01

    Acute or chronic environmental enrichment (EE) reduces sucrose cue reactivity in rats. This effect may be mediated by dopamine receptors. We examined whether dopamine D1 or D2 receptor agonism could reverse the EE effect. We also examined whether any reversal effects would vary with the incubation of sucrose craving. Following 10 days (2 h/day) of sucrose self-administration, rats experienced either 1 or 30 days of forced abstinence and either overnight (acute) or 29 day (chronic) EE. D1 (SKF 81297; 0, 0.3, or 1 mg/kg) or D2 (quinpirole; 0, 0.1, or 0.3 mg/kg) agonist was administered systemically immediately prior to a subsequent 2-h cue reactivity test the next day (n = 9-12 per group). Dose-dependent effects were limited to the day 1 test. High doses of the agonists increased day 1 acute EE cue reactivity to levels comparable to control animals. On the day 30 test, SKF 81297 increased cue reactivity in acute EE, chronic EE, and control rats. In contrast, quinpirole resulted in similar cue reactivity for control and enriched rats, more from a reduction in responding by controls vs. a recovery of responding by EE-experienced rats. Both D1 and D2 receptors may be involved in the acute EE-mediated decrease in cue reactivity observed following 1 day of forced abstinence. In contrast, at 30 days of forced abstinence, D1 receptors may be critical in cue reactivity as SKF 81297 was effective at both restoring responding of enriched animals and potentiating responding of controls.

  3. Translating the use of an enriched environment poststroke from bench to bedside: study design and protocol used to test the feasibility of environmental enrichment on stroke patients in rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Janssen, H; Ada, L; Karayanidis, F; Drysdale, K; McElduff, P; Pollack, M; White, J; Nilsson, M; Bernhardt, J; Spratt, N J

    2012-08-01

    Environmental enrichment, a paradigm investigated extensively in animal models, is an intervention, which by design facilitates motor, sensory, social, and cognitive activity. It has been shown to improve poststroke motor and cognitive function in animal models of stroke. This is the first study to attempt to translate this intervention from the laboratory to the clinical setting. The overall aim of this pilot study is to test the feasibility of using environmental enrichment with stroke patients in a rehabilitation setting. The aim is to enrich the environment of stroke survivors in a rehabilitation ward and measure changes in their activity (physical, cognitive, and social activity). Prospective nonrandomized block design intervention study. In the control phase we will determine the change in activity levels of patients treated in a usual rehabilitation environment over time. In the intervention phase structured observational techniques (behavioural mapping) will be used to quantify the change in activity levels of patients exposed to environmental enrichment. The primary outcome is change in activity level. Additional data collected on entry to and exit from the study will include: cognitive function using a battery of cognitive tests, general function using the Functional Independence Measure, mood using the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 and boredom using the Stroke Rehabilitation Boredom Survey. Quality of life will be assessed using the Assessment of Quality of Life 1 month postdischarge from rehabilitation. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry# ACTRN12611000629932. © 2012 The Authors. International Journal of Stroke © 2012 World Stroke Organization.

  4. Effects of environmental enrichment on the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse model.

    PubMed

    Sorrells, A D; Corcoran-Gomez, K; Eckert, K A; Fahey, A G; Hoots, B L; Charleston, L B; Charleston, J S; Roberts, C R; Markowitz, H

    2009-04-01

    The manner in which an animal's environment is furnished may have significant implications for animal welfare as well as research outcomes. We evaluated four different housing conditions to determine the effects of what has been considered standard rodent enrichment and the exercise opportunities those environments allow on disease progression in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse model. Forty-eight copper/zinc superoxide dismutase mice (strain: B6SJL-TgN [SOD1-G931]1Gur) (SOD1) and 48 control (C) (strain: B6SJL-TgN[SOD1]2Gur) male mice were randomly assigned to four different conditions where 12 SOD1 and 12 C animals were allotted to each condition (n = 96). Conditions tested the effects of standard housing, a forced exercise regime, access to a mouse house and opportunity for ad libitum exercise on a running wheel. In addition to the daily all-occurrence behavioural sampling, mice were weighed and tested twice per week on gait and Rotor-Rod performance until the mice reached the age of 150 days (C) or met the criteria for our humane endpoint (SOD1). The SOD1 mice exposed to the forced exercise regime and wheel access did better in average lifespan and Rotor-Rod performance, than SOD1 mice exposed to the standard cage and mouse house conditions. In SOD1 mice, stride length remained longest throughout the progression of the disease in mice exposed to the forced exercise regime compared with other SOD1 conditions. Within the control group, mice in the standard cage and forced exercise regime conditions performed significantly less than the mice with the mouse house and wheels on the Rotor-Rod. Alpha motor neuron counts were highest in mice with wheels and in mice exposed to forced exercise regime in both mouse strains. All SOD1 mice had significantly lower alpha neuron counts than controls (P < 0.05). These data show that different enrichment strategies affect behaviour and disease progression in a transgenic mouse model, and may have implications for the

  5. Environmental enrichment reveals effects of genotype on hippocampal spine morphologies in the mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Lauterborn, Julie C; Jafari, Matiar; Babayan, Alex H; Gall, Christine M

    2015-02-01

    Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and the Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse model of this disorder exhibit abnormal dendritic spines in neocortex, but the degree of spine disturbances in hippocampus is not clear. The present studies tested if the mutation influences dendritic branching and spine measures for CA1 pyramidal cells in Fmr1 KO and wild-type (WT) mice provided standard or enriched environment (EE) housing. Automated measures from 3D reconstructions of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled cells showed that spine head volumes were ∼ 40% lower in KOs when compared with WTs in both housing conditions. With standard housing, average spine length was greater in KOs versus WTs but there was no genotype difference in dendritic branching, numbers of spines, or spine length distribution. However, with EE rearing, significant effects of genotype emerged including greater dendritic branching in WTs, greater spine density in KOs, and greater numbers of short thin spines in KOs when compared with WTs. Thus, EE rearing revealed greater effects of the Fmr1 mutation on hippocampal pyramidal cell morphology than was evident with standard housing, suggesting that environmental enrichment allows for fuller appreciation of the impact of the mutation and better representation of abnormalities likely to be present in human FXS. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Influence of environmental enrichment vs. time-of-day on behavioral repertoire of male albino Swiss mice.

    PubMed

    Loss, Cássio Morais; Binder, Luisa Bandeira; Muccini, Eduarda; Martins, Wagner Carbolin; de Oliveira, Paulo Alexandre; Vandresen-Filho, Samuel; Prediger, Rui Daniel; Tasca, Carla Inês; Zimmer, Eduardo R; Costa-Schmidt, Luiz Ernesto; de Oliveira, Diogo Losch; Viola, Giordano Gubert

    2015-11-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is a non-pharmacological manipulation that promotes diverse forms of benefits in the central nervous system of captive animals. It is thought that EE influences animal behavior in a specie-(strain)-specific manner. Since rodents in general present different behaviors during distinct periods of the day, in this study we aimed to investigate the influence of time-of-day on behavioral repertoire of Swiss mice that reared in EE. Forty male Swiss mice (21days old) were housed in standard (SC) or enriched conditions (EC) for 60days. Behavioral assessments were conducted during the light phase (in presence of light) or dark phase (in absence of light) in the following tasks: open field, object recognition and elevated plus maze. First, we observed that the locomotor and exploratory activities are distinct between SC and EC groups only during the light phase. Second, we observed that "self-protective behaviors" were increased in EC group only when mice were tested during the light phase. However, "less defensive behaviors" were not affected by both housing conditions and time-of-day. Third, we showed that the performance of EE animals in object recognition task was improved in both light and dark conditions. Our findings highlight that EE-induced alterations in exploratory and emotional behaviors are just evident during light conditions. However, EE-induced cognitive benefits are remarkable even during dark conditions, when exploratory and emotional behaviors were similar between groups. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Environmental Enrichment Reveals Effects of Genotype on Hippocampal Spine Morphologies in the Mouse Model of Fragile X Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Lauterborn, Julie C.; Jafari, Matiar; Babayan, Alex H.; Gall, Christine M.

    2015-01-01

    Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and the Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse model of this disorder exhibit abnormal dendritic spines in neocortex, but the degree of spine disturbances in hippocampus is not clear. The present studies tested if the mutation influences dendritic branching and spine measures for CA1 pyramidal cells in Fmr1 KO and wild-type (WT) mice provided standard or enriched environment (EE) housing. Automated measures from 3D reconstructions of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled cells showed that spine head volumes were ∼40% lower in KOs when compared with WTs in both housing conditions. With standard housing, average spine length was greater in KOs versus WTs but there was no genotype difference in dendritic branching, numbers of spines, or spine length distribution. However, with EE rearing, significant effects of genotype emerged including greater dendritic branching in WTs, greater spine density in KOs, and greater numbers of short thin spines in KOs when compared with WTs. Thus, EE rearing revealed greater effects of the Fmr1 mutation on hippocampal pyramidal cell morphology than was evident with standard housing, suggesting that environmental enrichment allows for fuller appreciation of the impact of the mutation and better representation of abnormalities likely to be present in human FXS. PMID:24046080

  8. Environmental Enrichment Rescues Postnatal Neurogenesis Defect in the Male and Female Ts65Dn Mouse Model of Down Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarti, Lina; Scafidi, Joseph; Gallo, Vittorio; Haydar, Tarik F.

    2011-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS), the most frequent genetic cause of intellectual disability and developmental delay, results from impaired neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Impaired neurogenesis in the neocortex, hippocampus and cerebellum is believed to be the underlying cause of learning and behavioral deficits in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS. Aggressive sensorimotor and cognitive therapies have shown promise in mitigating the cognitive disabilities in DS but these behavioral therapies have not yet been investigated at the cellular level. Here, using the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS, we demonstrate that a combination of environmental enrichment and physical exercise starting in juvenile mice (postnatal day 18) markedly increases cell proliferation, neurogenesis and gliogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) and the forebrain subventricular zone (SVZ) of both male and female mice. Enrichment and exercise increased the rate of Ts65Dn DG neurogenesis to be comparable to that of the nonenriched euploid group, while the effect on SVZ neurogenesis was reduced and seen only after prolonged exposure. These results clearly indicate that in a comprehensive stimulatory environment, the postnatal DS brain has the intrinsic capability of improving neurogenesis and gliogenesis to the levels of normal matched controls and that this cellular response underlies the cognitive improvement seen following behavioral therapies. PMID:21865665

  9. Environmental enrichment enhances cognitive flexibility in C57BL/6 mice on a touchscreen reversal learning task.

    PubMed

    Zeleznikow-Johnston, Ariel; Burrows, Emma L; Renoir, Thibault; Hannan, Anthony J

    2017-05-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is any positive modification of the 'standard housing' (SH) conditions in which laboratory animals are typically held, usually involving increased opportunity for cognitive stimulation and physical activity. EE has been reported to enhance baseline performance of wild-type animals on traditional cognitive behavioural tasks. Recently, touchscreen operant testing chambers have emerged as a way of performing rodent cognitive assays, providing greater reproducibility, translatability and automatability. Cognitive tests in touchscreen chambers are performed over numerous trials and thus experimenters have the power to detect subtle enhancements in performance. We used touchscreens to analyse the effects of EE on reversal learning, visual discrimination and hippocampal-dependent spatial pattern separation and working memory. We hypothesized that EE would enhance the performance of mice on cognitive touchscreen tasks. Our hypothesis was partially supported in that EE induced enhancements in cognitive flexibility as observed in visual discrimination and reversal learning improvements. However, no other significant effects of EE on cognitive performance were observed. EE decreased the activity level of mice in the touchscreen chambers, which may influence the enrichment level of the animals. Although we did not see enhancements on all hypothesized parameters, our testing paradigm is capable of detecting EE-induced improved cognitive flexibility in mice, which has implications for both understanding the mechanisms of EE and improving screening of putative cognitive-enhancing therapeutics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Early chemical enrichment of the Galactic dwarf satellites from a homogeneous and NLTE abundance analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mashonkina, Lyudmila; Jablonka, Pascale; Sitnova, Tatyana; Pakhomov, Yuri; North, Pierre

    2018-06-01

    We review recent abundance results for very metal-poor (VMP, -4 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ -2) stars in seven dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs) and in the Milky Way (MW) halo comparison sample that were obtained based on high-resolution spectroscopic datasets, homogeneous and accurate atmospheric parameters, and the non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) line formation for 10 chemical species. A remarkable gain of using such an approach is the reduction, compared to a simple compilation of the literature data, of the spread in abundance ratios at given metallicity within each galaxy and from one to the other. We show that all massive galaxies in our sample, that is, the MW halo and the classical dSphs Sculptor, Ursa Minor, Sextans, and Fornax, reveal a similar plateau at [α/Fe] \\simeq 0.3 for each of the α-process elements: Mg, Ca, and Ti. We put on a firm ground the evidence for a decline in α/Fe with increasing metallicity in the Boötes I ultra-faint dwarf galaxy (UFD), that is most probably due to the ejecta of type Ia supernovae. In our classical dSphs, we observe the dichotomy in the [Sr/Ba] versus [Ba/H] diagram, similarly to the MW halo, calling for two different nucleosynthesis channels for Sr at the earliest evolution stages of these galaxies. Our three UFDs, that is Boötes I, UMa II, and Leo IV, are depleted in Sr and Ba relative to Fe and Mg, with very similar ratios of [Sr/Mg] ≈ -1.3 and [Ba/Mg] ≈ -1 on the entire range of their Mg abundances. The subsolar Sr/Ba ratios of Boötes I and UMa II indicate a common r-process origin of their neutron-capture elements. For Na/Fe, Na/Mg, and Al/Mg, the MW halo and all dSphs reveal indistinguishable trends with metallicity, suggesting that the processes of Na and Al synthesis are identical in all systems, independent of their mass. Sculptor remains the classical dSph, in which the evidence for inhomogeneous mixing in the early evolution stage, at [Fe/H] < -2, is the strongest.

  11. The Early Enrichment Project in Turkey = Le projet de renforcement precoce des potentialites de l'enfant en Turquie. Notes, Comments...No. 193.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kagiteibasi, Cigdem

    This document provides a bilingual (English and French) report on the Turkish Early Enrichment Project, a four-year longitudinal study of the impact of educational day care combined with mother training on child development. This comprehensive approach was compared with custodial day care and home care, both with and without home intervention. The…

  12. Environmental enrichment brings a beneficial effect on beam walking and enhances the migration of doublecortin-positive cells following striatal lesions in rats.

    PubMed

    Urakawa, S; Hida, H; Masuda, T; Misumi, S; Kim, T-S; Nishino, H

    2007-02-09

    Rats raised in an enriched environment (enriched rats) have been reported to show less motor dysfunction following brain lesions, but the neuronal correlates of this improvement have not been well clarified. The present study aimed to elucidate the effect of chemical brain lesions and environmental enrichment on motor function and lesion-induced neurogenesis. Three week-old, recently weaned rats were divided into two groups: one group was raised in an enriched environment and the other group was raised in a standard cage for 5 weeks. Striatal damage was induced at an age of 8 weeks by injection of the neuro-toxins 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) or quinolinic acid (QA) into the striatum, or by injection of 6-OHDA into the substantia nigra (SN), which depleted nigrostriatal dopaminergic innervation. Enriched rats showed better performance on beam walking compared with those raised in standard conditions, but both groups showed similar forelimb use asymmetry in a cylinder test. The number of bromodeoxyuridine-labeled proliferating cells in the subventricular zone was increased by a severe striatal lesion induced by QA injection 1 week after the lesion, but decreased by injection of 6-OHDA into the SN. Following induction of lesions by striatal injection of 6-OHDA or QA, the number of cells positive for doublecortin (DCX) was strongly increased in the striatum; however, there was no change in the number of DCX-positive cells following 6-OHDA injection into the SN. Environmental enrichment enhanced the increase of DCX-positive cells with migrating morphology in the dorsal striatum. In enriched rats, DCX-positive cells traversed the striatal parenchyma far from the corpus callosum and lateral ventricle. DCX-positive cells co-expressed an immature neuronal marker, polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule, but were negative for a glial marker. These data suggest that environmental enrichment improves motor performance on beam walking and enhances neuronal migration toward

  13. Genetic and Environmental Influences on the Growth of Early Reading Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petrill, Stephen A.; Hart, Sara A.; Harlaar, Nicole; Logan, Jessica; Justice, Laura M.; Schatschneider, Christopher; Thompson, Lee; DeThorne, Laura S.; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Cutting, Laurie

    2010-01-01

    Background: Studies have suggested genetic and environmental influences on overall level of early reading whereas the larger reading literature has shown environmental influences on the rate of growth of early reading skills. This study is the first to examine the genetic and environmental influences on both initial level of performance and rate…

  14. Traumatic brain injury and post-acute decline: what role does environmental enrichment play? A scoping review

    PubMed Central

    Frasca, Diana; Tomaszczyk, Jennifer; McFadyen, Bradford J.; Green, Robin E.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: While a growing number of studies provide evidence of neural and cognitive decline in traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors during the post-acute stages of injury, there is limited research as of yet on environmental factors that may influence this decline. The purposes of this paper, therefore, are to (1) examine evidence that environmental enrichment (EE) can influence long-term outcome following TBI, and (2) examine the nature of post-acute environments, whether they vary in degree of EE, and what impact these variations have on outcomes. Methods: We conducted a scoping review to identify studies on EE in animals and humans, and post-discharge experiences that relate to barriers to recovery. Results: One hundred and twenty-three articles that met inclusion criteria demonstrated the benefits of EE on brain and behavior in healthy and brain-injured animals and humans. Nineteen papers on post-discharge experiences revealed that variables such as insurance coverage, financial, and social support, home therapy, and transition from hospital to home, can have an impact on clinical outcomes. Conclusion: There is evidence to suggest that lack of EE, whether from lack of resources or limited ability to engage in such environments, may play a role in post-acute cognitive and neural decline. Maximizing EE in the post-acute stages of TBI may improve long-term outcomes for the individual, their family and society. PMID:23616755

  15. What Goes Around Can Come Around: An Unexpected Deleterious Effect of Using Mouse Running Wheels for Environmental Enrichment

    PubMed Central

    Leduc, Renee Y M; Rauw, Gail; Baker, Glen B; McDermid, Heather E

    2017-01-01

    Environmental enrichment items such as running wheels can promote the wellbeing of laboratory mice. Growing evidence suggests that wheel running simulates exercise effects in many mouse models of human conditions, but this activity also might change other aspects of mouse behavior. In this case study, we show that the presence of running wheels leads to pronounced and permanent circling behavior with route-tracing in a proportion of the male mice of a genetically distinct cohort. The genetic background of this cohort includes a mutation in Arhgap19, but genetic crosses showed that an unknown second-site mutation likely caused the induced circling behavior. Behavioral tests for inner-ear function indicated a normal sense of gravity in the circling mice. However, the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and some dopamine metabolites were lower in the brains of circling male mice than in mice of the same genetic background that were weaned without wheels. Circling was seen in both singly and socially housed male mice. The additional stress of fighting may have exacerbated the predisposition to circling in the socially housed animals. Singly and socially housed male mice without wheels did not circle. Our current findings highlight the importance and possibly confounding nature of the environmental and genetic background in mouse behavioral studies, given that the circling behavior and alterations in dopamine and serotonin levels in this mouse cohort occurred only when the male mice were housed with running wheels. PMID:28315651

  16. Maternal exposure to environmental enrichment before and during gestation influences behaviour of rat offspring in a sex-specific manner.

    PubMed

    Zuena, Anna Rita; Zinni, Manuela; Giuli, Chiara; Cinque, Carlo; Alemà, Giovanni Sebastiano; Giuliani, Alessandro; Catalani, Assia; Casolini, Paola; Cozzolino, Roberto

    2016-09-01

    The beneficial effects of Environmental Enrichment (EE) applied immediately after weaning or even in adulthood have been widely demonstrated. Less is known about the possible changes in behaviour and brain development of the progeny following the exposure of dams to EE. In order to further investigate this matter, female rats were reared in EE for 12weeks, from weaning until delivery. After having confirmed the presence of relevant behavioural effects of EE, both control and EE females underwent mating. Maternal behaviour was observed and male and female offspring were then administered a battery of behavioural test at different ages. EE mothers showed a decreased frequency of total nursing and, during the first 2days of lactation, an increase in licking/grooming behaviour. Maternal exposure to EE affected offspring behaviour in a sex-specific manner: social play behaviour and anxiety-like behaviour were increased in males but not in females and learning ability was improved only in females. As a general trend, maternal EE had a marked influence on motility in male and female offspring in both locomotor activity and swimming speed. Overall, this study highlights the importance of environmental stimulation, not only in the animals directly experiencing EE, but for their progeny too, opening the way to new hypothesis on the heritability mechanisms of behavioural traits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Paternal sperm DNA methylation associated with early signs of autism risk in an autism-enriched cohort.

    PubMed

    Feinberg, Jason I; Bakulski, Kelly M; Jaffe, Andrew E; Tryggvadottir, Rakel; Brown, Shannon C; Goldman, Lynn R; Croen, Lisa A; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Newschaffer, Craig J; Fallin, M Daniele; Feinberg, Andrew P

    2015-08-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms such as altered DNA methylation have been suggested to play a role in autism, beginning with the classical association of Prader-Willi syndrome, an imprinting disorder, with autistic features. Here we tested for the relationship of paternal sperm DNA methylation with autism risk in offspring, examining an enriched-risk cohort of fathers of autistic children. We examined genome-wide DNA methylation (DNAm) in paternal semen biosamples obtained from an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) enriched-risk pregnancy cohort, the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) cohort, to estimate associations between sperm DNAm and prospective ASD development, using a 12-month ASD symptoms assessment, the Autism Observation Scale for Infants (AOSI). We analysed methylation data from 44 sperm samples run on the CHARM 3.0 array, which contains over 4 million probes (over 7 million CpG sites), including 30 samples also run on the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 (450K) BeadChip platform (∼485 000 CpG sites). We also examined associated regions in an independent sample of post-mortem human brain ASD and control samples for which Illumina 450K DNA methylation data were available. Using region-based statistical approaches, we identified 193 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in paternal sperm with a family-wise empirical P-value [family-wise error rate (FWER)] <0.05 associated with performance on the Autism Observational Scale for Infants (AOSI) at 12 months of age in offspring. The DMRs clustered near genes involved in developmental processes, including many genes in the SNORD family, within the Prader-Willi syndrome gene cluster. These results were consistent among the 75 probes on the Illumina 450K array that cover AOSI-associated DMRs from CHARM. Further, 18 of 75 (24%) 450K array probes showed consistent differences in the cerebellums of autistic individuals compared with controls. These data suggest that epigenetic differences in paternal

  18. Nitrogen enrichment suppresses other environmental drivers and homogenizes salt marsh leaf microbiome.

    PubMed

    Daleo, Pedro; Alberti, Juan; Jumpponen, Ari; Veach, Allison; Ialonardi, Florencia; Iribarne, Oscar; Silliman, Brian

    2018-06-01

    Microbial community assembly is affected by a combination of forces that act simultaneously, but the mechanisms underpinning their relative influences remain elusive. This gap strongly limits our ability to predict human impacts on microbial communities and the processes they regulate. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that increased salinity stress, food web alteration and nutrient loading interact to drive outcomes in salt marsh fungal leaf communities. Both salinity stress and food web alterations drove communities to deterministically diverge, resulting in distinct fungal communities. Increased nutrient loads, nevertheless, partially suppressed the influence of other factors as determinants of fungal assembly. Using a null model approach, we found that increased nutrient loads enhanced the relative importance of stochastic over deterministic divergent processes; without increased nutrient loads, samples from different treatments showed a relatively (deterministic) divergent community assembly whereas increased nutrient loads drove the system to more stochastic assemblies, suppressing the effect of other treatments. These results demonstrate that common anthropogenic modifications can interact to control fungal community assembly. Furthermore, our results suggest that when the environmental conditions are spatially heterogeneous (as in our case, caused by specific combinations of experimental treatments), increased stochasticity caused by greater nutrient inputs can reduce the importance of deterministic filters that otherwise caused divergence, thus driving to microbial community homogenization. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  19. Nitrogen enrichment suppresses other environmental drivers and homogenizes salt marsh leaf microbiome

    SciTech Connect

    Daleo, Pedro; Alberti, Juan; Jumpponen, Ari

    Microbial community assembly is affected by a combination of forces that act simultaneously, but the mechanisms underpinning their relative influences remain elusive. This gap strongly limits our ability to predict human impacts on microbial communities and the processes they regulate. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that increased salinity stress, food web alteration and nutrient loading interact to drive outcomes in salt marsh fungal leaf communities. Both salinity stress and food web alterations drove communities to deterministically diverge, resulting in distinct fungal communities. Increased nutrient loads, nevertheless, partially suppressed the influence of other factors as determinants of fungal assembly. Using a nullmore » model approach, we found that increased nutrient loads enhanced the relative importance of stochastic over deterministic divergent processes; without increased nutrient loads, samples from different treatments showed a relatively (deterministic) divergent community assembly whereas increased nutrient loads drove the system to more stochastic assemblies, suppressing the effect of other treatments. These results demonstrate that common anthropogenic modifications can interact to control fungal community assembly. As a result, our results suggest that when the environmental conditions are spatially heterogeneous (as in our case, caused by specific combinations of experimental treatments), increased stochasticity caused by greater nutrient inputs can reduce the importance of deterministic filters that otherwise caused divergence, thus driving to microbial community homogenization.« less

  20. Nitrogen enrichment suppresses other environmental drivers and homogenizes salt marsh leaf microbiome

    DOE PAGES

    Daleo, Pedro; Alberti, Juan; Jumpponen, Ari; ...

    2018-04-12

    Microbial community assembly is affected by a combination of forces that act simultaneously, but the mechanisms underpinning their relative influences remain elusive. This gap strongly limits our ability to predict human impacts on microbial communities and the processes they regulate. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that increased salinity stress, food web alteration and nutrient loading interact to drive outcomes in salt marsh fungal leaf communities. Both salinity stress and food web alterations drove communities to deterministically diverge, resulting in distinct fungal communities. Increased nutrient loads, nevertheless, partially suppressed the influence of other factors as determinants of fungal assembly. Using a nullmore » model approach, we found that increased nutrient loads enhanced the relative importance of stochastic over deterministic divergent processes; without increased nutrient loads, samples from different treatments showed a relatively (deterministic) divergent community assembly whereas increased nutrient loads drove the system to more stochastic assemblies, suppressing the effect of other treatments. These results demonstrate that common anthropogenic modifications can interact to control fungal community assembly. As a result, our results suggest that when the environmental conditions are spatially heterogeneous (as in our case, caused by specific combinations of experimental treatments), increased stochasticity caused by greater nutrient inputs can reduce the importance of deterministic filters that otherwise caused divergence, thus driving to microbial community homogenization.« less

  1. Contribution of early environmental stress to alcoholism vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Joannalee C; Szumlinski, Karen K; Kippin, Tod E

    2009-11-01

    The most problematic aspects of alcohol abuse disorder are excessive alcohol consumption and the inability to refrain from alcohol consumption during attempted abstinence. The root causes that predispose certain individuals to these problems are poorly understood but are believed to be produced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Early environmental trauma alters neurodevelopmental trajectories that can predispose an individual to a number of neuropsychiatric disorders, including substance abuse. Prenatal stress (PNS) is a well-established protocol that produces perturbations in nervous system development, resulting in behavioral alterations that include hyperresponsiveness to stress, novelty, and psychomotor stimulant drugs (e.g., cocaine, amphetamine). Moreover, PNS animals exhibit enduring alterations in basal and cocaine-induced changes in dopamine and glutamate transmission within limbic structures, which exhibit pathology in drug addiction and alcoholism, suggesting that these alterations may contribute to an increased propensity to self-administer large amounts of drugs of abuse or to relapse after periods of drug withdrawal. Given that cocaine and alcohol have actions on common limbic neural substrates (albeit by different mechanisms), we hypothesized that PNS would elevate the motivation for, and consumption of, alcohol. Accordingly, we have found that male C57BL/6J mice subject to PNS exhibit higher operant responding and consume more alcohol during alcohol reinforcement as adults. Alterations in glutamate and dopamine neurotransmission within the forebrain structures appear to contribute to the PNS-induced predisposition to high alcohol intake and are induced by excessive alcohol intake. Accordingly, we are exploring the interactions between neurochemical changes produced by PNS and changes induced by consumption of alcohol in adulthood to model the biological bases of high vulnerability to alcohol abuse.

  2. Contribution of early environmental stress to alcoholism vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Joannalee C.; Szumlinski, Karen K.; Kippin, Tod E.

    2011-01-01

    The most problematic aspects of alcohol abuse disorder are excessive alcohol consumption and the inability to refrain from alcohol consumption during attempted abstinence. The root causes that predispose certain individuals to these problems are poorly understood but are believed to be produced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Early environmental trauma alters neurodevelopmental trajectories that can predispose an individual to a number of neuropsychiatric disorders, including substance abuse. Prenatal stress (PNS) is a well-established protocol that produces perturbations in nervous system development, resulting in behavioral alterations that include hyperresponsiveness to stress, novelty, and psychomotor stimulant drugs (e.g., cocaine, amphetamine). Moreover, PNS animals exhibit enduring alterations in basal and cocaine-induced changes in dopamine and glutamate transmission within limbic structures, which exhibit pathology in drug addiction and alcoholism, suggesting that these alterations may contribute to an increased propensity to self-administer large amounts of drugs of abuse or to relapse after periods of drug withdrawal. Given that cocaine and alcohol have actions on common limbic neural substrates (albeit by different mechanisms), we hypothesized that PNS would elevate the motivation for, and consumption of, alcohol. Accordingly, we have found that male C57BL/6J mice subject to PNS exhibit higher operant responding and consume more alcohol during alcohol reinforcement as adults. Alterations in glutamate and dopamine neurotransmission within the forebrain structures appear to contribute to the PNS-induced predisposition to high alcohol intake and are induced by excessive alcohol intake. Accordingly, we are exploring the interactions between neurochemical changes produced by PNS and changes induced by consumption of alcohol in adulthood to model the biological bases of high vulnerability to alcohol abuse. PMID:19913199

  3. Development of Laboratory Model Ecosystems as Early Warning Elements of Environmental Pollution

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1974-12-01

    AD-AOll 851 DEVELOPMENT OF LABORATORY MODEL ECOSYSTEMS AS EARLY WARNING ELEMENTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION Robert L. Metcalf... ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION Robert L. Metcalf, Ph. D. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois INTRODUCTION Problems of environmental pollution with...house dust is unsafe to breathe (Ewing and Pearson, 1974). Most of the source of our concern about environmental pollution by trace substances relates

  4. Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Relationship to Early Pregnancy Discomforts.

    PubMed

    Hung, Hui-Jung; Chen, Chiu-Ying; Wang, Shu-Li; Wu, Trong-Neng; Lee, Chiu-Hsiang; Cheng, Shi-Yann

    2017-05-01

    We assessed environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and examined its association with pregnancy discomforts. We used structured questionnaires to interview a convenience sample of 139 pregnant women (8-20 weeks of gestation) recruited from 2 hospitals in central Taiwan. We found that 84% of the participants experienced ETS exposure in their households, workplaces, and/or public areas. Bivariate analyses showed the severity of pregnancy discomforts in the participants exposed to a high level of ETS was higher than that in those exposed to a low level of ETS. We found the discomfort symptoms of thirst, heartburn, lower abdominal pain, frequent urination, and depression to be significantly associated with ETS exposure. There also was a dose-response relationship between ETS exposure and discomfort. In addition, the presence of at least 4 out of those 5 symptoms served as a signal for raising women's self-awareness to avoid ETS hazards. Our study provides empirical evidence of an adverse relationship between ETS exposure and early pregnancy discomforts. The exposure to ETS in pregnant women remains high, and health education programs targeting this population should enhance their self-awareness to the discomforts related to ETS exposure and prompt them to adopt prevention strategies.

  5. The hyper-enrichment of V and Zn in black shales of the Late Devonian-Early Mississippian Bakken Formation (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, Clinton T.; Slack, John F.; Kelley, Karen Duttweiler

    2017-01-01

    Black shales of the Late Devonian to Early Mississippian Bakken Formation are characterized by high concentrations of organic carbon and the hyper-enrichment (> 500 to 1000s of mg/kg) of V and Zn. Deposition of black shales resulted from shallow seafloor depths that promoted rapid development of euxinic conditions. Vanadium hyper-enrichments, which are unknown in modern environments, are likely the result of very high levels of dissolved H2S (~ 10 mM) in bottom waters or sediments. Because modern hyper-enrichments of Zn are documented only in Framvaren Fjord (Norway), it is likely that the biogeochemical trigger responsible for Zn hyper-enrichment in Framvaren Fjord was also present in the Bakken basin. With Framvaren Fjord as an analogue, we propose a causal link between the activity of phototrophic sulfide oxidizing bacteria, related to the development of photic-zone euxinia, and the hyper-enrichment of Zn in black shales of the Bakken Formation.

  6. A familial risk enriched cohort as a platform for testing early interventions to prevent severe mental illness.

    PubMed

    Uher, Rudolf; Cumby, Jill; MacKenzie, Lynn E; Morash-Conway, Jessica; Glover, Jacqueline M; Aylott, Alice; Propper, Lukas; Abidi, Sabina; Bagnell, Alexa; Pavlova, Barbara; Hajek, Tomas; Lovas, David; Pajer, Kathleen; Gardner, William; Levy, Adrian; Alda, Martin

    2014-12-02

    Severe mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression, is responsible for a substantial proportion of disability in the population. This article describes the aims and design of a research study that takes a novel approach to targeted prevention of SMI. It is based on the rationale that early developmental antecedents to SMI are likely to be more malleable than fully developed mood or psychotic disorders and that low-risk interventions targeting antecedents may reduce the risk of SMI. Families Overcoming Risks and Building Opportunities for Well-being (FORBOW) is an accelerated cohort study that includes a large proportion of offspring of parents with SMI and embeds intervention trials in a cohort multiple randomized controlled trial (cmRCT) design. Antecedents are conditions of the individual that are distressing but not severely impairing, predict SMI with moderate-to-large effect sizes and precede the onset of SMI by at least several years. FORBOW focuses on the following antecedents: affective lability, anxiety, psychotic-like experiences, basic symptoms, sleep problems, somatic symptoms, cannabis use and cognitive delay. Enrolment of offspring over a broad age range (0 to 21 years) will allow researchers to draw conclusions on a longer developmental period from a study of shorter duration. Annual assessments cover a full range of psychopathology, cognitive abilities, eligibility criteria for interventions and outcomes. Pre-emptive early interventions (PEI) will include skill training for parents of younger children and courses in emotional well-being skills based on cognitive behavioural therapy for older children and youth. A sample enriched for familial risk of SMI will enhance statistical power for testing the efficacy of PEI. FORBOW offers a platform for efficient and unbiased testing of interventions selected according to best available evidence. Since few differences exist between familial and 'sporadic' SMI, the

  7. Development of magnetic graphene @hydrophilic polydopamine for the enrichment and analysis of phthalates in environmental water samples.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianying; Song, Guoxin; Deng, Chunhui

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic graphene @hydrophilic polydopamine composites were successfully fabricated via a simple solvothermal reaction and self-polymerization of dopamine. Benefit from the excellent characteristics of strong magnetic responsivity, super-hydrophilicity and abundant π-electron system, the prepared material showed great potential as a magnetic solid phase extraction (MSPE) sorbent. In this work, six kinds of phthalates (PAEs) were selected as the target analytes to evaluate the extraction ability of the adsorbents combined with MSPE-GC-MS. And various extraction parameters were optimized by selecting the pH value of samples, the amount of sorbents, adsorption and desorption time, the type and volume of eluting solution. Meanwhile, the whole extraction process could be finished in 30 min. Under the optimized conditions, validations of the method were evaluated as well. And the results presented excellent linearity with a wide range of 50-20,000 μg/L (R(2)>0.9991). The detection of limits were in the range from 0.05-5 μg/L (S/N=3). Therefore, the novel magnetic graphene@polydopamine composites were successfully used as the sorbents for the enrichment and analysis of PAEs in real water samples. This proposed method provided a simple, efficient and sensitive approach for the determination of aromatic compounds in real environmental samples. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Effects of environmental enrichment on the activity of the amygdala in micrencephalic rats exposed to a novel open field.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Wakoto; Ehara, Ayuka; Nakadate, Kazuhiko; Yoshimoto, Kanji; Ueda, Shuichi

    2018-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) mediates recovery from sensory, motor, and cognitive deficits and emotional abnormalities. In the present study, we examined the effects of EE on locomotor activity and neuronal activity in the amygdala in control and methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM)-induced micrencephalic rats after challenge in a novel open field. Control rats housed in EE (CR) showed reduced locomotor activity compared to rats housed in a conventional cage (CC), whereas hyperactivity was seen in MAM rats housed in a conventional cage (MC) and in MAM rats housed in EE (MR). Novel open field exposure in both CC and MC resulted in a marked increase in Fos expression in the anterior and posterior parts of the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus, basomedial nucleus, and medial nucleus, whereas these increases in expression were not observed in CR. The effect of EE on Fos expression in the amygdala was different in MR exposed to a novel open field compared to CR. Furthermore, we observed a quite different pattern of Fos expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala between control and MAM rats. The present results suggest that neuronal activity in the amygdala that responds to anxiety is altered in MAM rats, especially when the rats are reared in EE. These alterations may cause behavioral differences between control and MAM rats. © 2017 Japanese Teratology Society.

  9. The Development of Environmentally Friendly Technologies of Using Coals and Products of Their Enrichment in the Form of Coal Water Slurries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murko, Vasily; Hamalainen, Veniamin

    2017-11-01

    The article presents the current state of the technology for production and combustion of fuel coal water slurries in Russia and foreign countries. Experimental and industrial facilities show the technological and economic efficiency of using this technology for disposal of wastes resulting after coal processing and enrichment. The feasibility studies of use of the technology at large Kuzbass thermal power stations are presented. The possibility of solving a serious environmental problem of reducing storage of the most toxic waste of coal enrichment in the location areas of coal washing plants and coal mining enterprises is demonstrated.

  10. Differential alteration of the effects of MDMA (ecstasy) on locomotor activity and cocaine conditioned place preference in male adolescent rats by social and environmental enrichment

    PubMed Central

    Starosciak, Amy K.; Zakharova, Elena; Stagg, Monica; Matos, Jannifer

    2013-01-01

    Rationale Ecstasy (MDMA) is used predominately by adolescents and young adults. Young MDMA users are more likely than non-users to use other drugs, including cocaine. The response to stimulant drugs can be affected by environmental factors; however, little information exists about the role that housing plays in mediating effects of MDMA in adolescence. Objectives The present experiment examined whether social and environmental factors alter effects of MDMA on activity and cocaine reward. Methods Male adolescent rats were housed on PND 23. Isolated rats were housed alone (1 rat/cage) in an impoverished environment with no toys (II) or enriched with toys (IE). Social rats were housed three/cage with (SE3) or without (SI3) toys. Starting on PND 29, 5 mg/kg MDMA or saline was injected and activity was measured for 60 min once daily for five consecutive days. On PND 36–40, cocaine CPP was conducted. Results Saline vehicle-induced activity of II rats was higher than other groups, and all groups became sensitized to the locomotor-stimulant effects of MDMA. In II rats, maximal CPP was increased after MDMA pre-exposure compared to vehicle. Environmental enrichment blocked this; however, dose–effect curves for cocaine CPP shifted to the left in both IE and SE3 rats. In rats with just social enrichment, there were no effects of MDMA on cocaine CPP. Conclusion Drug prevention and treatment strategies should take into account different environments in which adolescents live. These findings show that MDMA increases cocaine reward in male adolescents, and social enrichment diminishes, while environmental enrichment enhances this. PMID:22752351

  11. Subgroup identification of early preterm birth (ePTB): informing a future prospective enrichment clinical trial design.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chuanwu; Garrard, Lili; Keighley, John; Carlson, Susan; Gajewski, Byron

    2017-01-10

    Despite the widely recognized association between the severity of early preterm birth (ePTB) and its related severe diseases, little is known about the potential risk factors of ePTB and the sub-population with high risk of ePTB. Moreover, motivated by a future confirmatory clinical trial to identify whether supplementing pregnant women with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has a different effect on the risk subgroup population or not in terms of ePTB prevalence, this study aims to identify potential risk subgroups and risk factors for ePTB, defined as babies born less than 34 weeks of gestation. The analysis data (N = 3,994,872) were obtained from CDC and NCHS' 2014 Natality public data file. The sample was split into independent training and validation cohorts for model generation and model assessment, respectively. Logistic regression and CART models were used to examine potential ePTB risk predictors and their interactions, including mothers' age, nativity, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, education, pre-pregnancy smoking status, pre-pregnancy BMI, pre-pregnancy diabetes status, pre-pregnancy hypertension status, previous preterm birth status, infertility treatment usage status, fertility enhancing drug usage status, and delivery payment source. Both logistic regression models with either 14 or 10 ePTB risk factors produced the same C-index (0.646) based on the training cohort. The C-index of the logistic regression model based on 10 predictors was 0.645 for the validation cohort. Both C-indexes indicated a good discrimination and acceptable model fit. The CART model identified preterm birth history and race as the most important risk factors, and revealed that the subgroup with a preterm birth history and a race designation as Black had the highest risk for ePTB. The c-index and misclassification rate were 0.579 and 0.034 for the training cohort, and 0.578 and 0.034 for the validation cohort, respectively. This study revealed 14 maternal characteristic

  12. Environmental enrichment synergistically improves functional recovery by transplanted adipose stem cells in chronic hypoxic-ischemic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Seo, Jung Hwa; Kim, Hyongbum; Park, Eun Sook; Lee, Jong Eun; Kim, Dong Wook; Kim, Hyun Ok; Im, Sang Hee; Yu, Ji Hea; Kim, Ji Yeon; Lee, Min-Young; Kim, Chul Hoon; Cho, Sung-Rae

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the effects of environmental enrichment (EE) on the function of transplanted adipose stem cells (ASCs) and the combined effect of EE and ASC transplantation on neurobehavioral function in an animal model of chronic hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury. HI brain damage was induced in 7-day-old mice by unilateral carotid artery ligation and exposure to hypoxia (8% O2 for 90 min). At 6 weeks of age, the mice were randomly injected with either ASCs or PBS into the striatum and were randomly assigned to either EE or standard cages (SC), comprising ASC-EE (n=18), ASC-SC (n=19), PBS-EE (n=12), PBS-SC (n=17), and untreated controls (n=23). Rotarod, forelimb-use asymmetry, and grip strength tests were performed to evaluate neurobehavioral function. The fate of transplanted cells and the levels of endogenous neurogenesis, astrocyte activation, and paracrine factors were also measured. As a result, EE and ASC transplantation synergistically improved rotarod latency, forelimb-use asymmetry, and grip strength compared to those of the other groups. The number of engrafted ASCs and βIII-tubulin(+) neurons derived from the transplanted ASCs was significantly higher in mice in EE than those in SC. EE and ASC transplantation also synergistically increased BrdU(+)βIII-tubulin(+) neurons, GFAP(+) astrocytic density, and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) level but not the level of CS-56(+) glial scarring in the striatum. In conclusion, EE and ASC transplantation synergistically improved neurobehavioral functions. The underlying mechanisms of this synergism included enhanced repair processes such as higher engraftment of the transplanted ASCs, increased endogenous neurogenesis and astrocytic activation coupled with upregulation of FGF2.

  13. Impact of Preoperative Environmental Enrichment on Prevention of Development of Cognitive Impairment following Abdominal Surgery in a Rat Model.

    PubMed

    Kawano, Takashi; Eguchi, Satoru; Iwata, Hideki; Tamura, Takahiko; Kumagai, Naoko; Yokoyama, Masataka

    2015-07-01

    Sustained neuroinflammation may contribute to the pathogenesis of postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD). Here, the authors evaluated the preventive effect of preoperative environmental enrichment (PEE) on the development of neuroinflammation and concomitant POCD in a rat abdominal surgery model. Young and aged rats were assigned to one of four groups using a 2 × 2 experimental design: PEE versus sedentary condition for 14 days, by abdominal surgery versus anesthesia alone (n = 8 in each group). After a 7-day postsurgical recovery period, cognitive function was assessed using a novel object recognition test, followed by measurement of hippocampal levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Under identical conditions, microglia were isolated from the hippocampus for assessment of cytokine response to lipopolysaccharide. In the sedentary group, aged, but not young, rats receiving surgery showed memory deficits (novel object preference during testing phase of 54.6 ± 7.8% vs. 76.9 ± 11.3% in nonsurgery group, P < 0.05) and increased hippocampal levels of cytokines compared with nonsurgical rats. PEE had no effects on novel object preference in nonsurgery animals (78.6 ± 10.7%), whereas it attenuated surgery-induced impairment of novel object preference (70.9 ± 15.0%, P < 0.05 vs. sedentary/surgery group) as well as increase of cytokine levels in hippocampus. Furthermore, upon ex vivo stimulation with lipopolysaccharide, cytokines release from hippocampal microglia isolated from aged rats before intervention was significantly higher in comparison with young rats. PEE resulted in reduction of these age-related microglial phenotypic changes. PEE could prevent the development of neuroinflammation and related POCD in aged rats by reversion of a proinflammatory phenotype of hippocampal microglia.

  14. Environmental enrichment reverses histone methylation changes in the aged hippocampus and restores age-related memory deficits.

    PubMed

    Morse, Sarah J; Butler, Anderson A; Davis, Robin L; Soller, Ian J; Lubin, Farah D

    2015-04-01

    A decline in long-term memory (LTM) formation is a common feature of the normal aging process, which corresponds with abnormal expression of memory-related genes in the aged hippocampus. Epigenetic modulation of chromatin structure is required for proper transcriptional control of genes, such as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) and Zif268 in the hippocampus during the consolidation of new memories. Recently, the view has emerged that aberrant transcriptional regulation of memory-related genes may be reflective of an altered epigenetic landscape within the aged hippocampus, resulting in memory deficits with aging. Here, we found that baseline resting levels for tri-methylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) and acetylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 and 14 (H3K9,K14ac) were altered in the aged hippocampus as compared to levels in the hippocampus of young adult rats. Interestingly, object learning failed to increase activity-dependent H3K4me3 and di-methylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3K9me2) levels in the hippocampus of aged adults as compared to young adults. Treatment with the LSD-1 histone demethylase inhibitor, t-PCP, increased baseline resting H3K4me3 and H3K9,K14ac levels in the young adult hippocampus, while young adult rats exhibited similar memory deficits as observed in aged rats. After environmental enrichment (EE), we found that object learning induced increases in H3K4me3 levels around the Bdnf, but not the Zif268, gene region in the aged hippocampus and rescued memory deficits in aged adults. Collectively, these results suggest that histone lysine methylation levels are abnormally regulated in the aged hippocampus and identify histone lysine methylation as a transcriptional mechanism by which EE may serve to restore memory formation with aging.

  15. Dissociating the therapeutic effects of environmental enrichment and exercise in a mouse model of anxiety with cognitive impairment

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, J; Vo, U; Buret, LS; Pang, TY; Meiklejohn, H; Zeleznikow-Johnston, A; Churilov, L; van den Buuse, M; Hannan, AJ; Renoir, T

    2016-01-01

    Clinical evidence indicates that serotonin-1A receptor (5-HT1AR) gene polymorphisms are associated with anxiety disorders and deficits in cognition. In animal models, exercise (Ex) and environmental enrichment (EE) can change emotionality-related behaviours, as well as enhance some aspects of cognition and hippocampal neurogenesis. We investigated the effects of Ex and EE (which does not include running wheels) on cognition and anxiety-like behaviours in wild-type (WT) and 5-HT1AR knock-out (KO) mice. Using an algorithm-based classification of search strategies in the Morris water maze, we report for we believe the first time that Ex increased the odds for mice to select more hippocampal-dependent strategies. In the retention probe test, Ex (but not EE) corrected long-term spatial memory deficits displayed by KO mice. In agreement with these findings, only Ex increased hippocampal cell survival and BDNF protein levels. However, only EE (but not Ex) modified anxiety-like behaviours, demonstrating dissociation between improvements in cognition and innate anxiety. EE enhanced hippocampal cell proliferation in WT mice only, suggesting a crucial role for intact serotonergic signalling in mediating this effect. Together, these results demonstrate differential effects of Ex vs EE in a mouse model of anxiety with cognitive impairment. Overall, the 5-HT1AR does not seem to be critical for those behavioural effects to occur. These findings will have implications for our understanding of how Ex and EE enhance experience-dependent plasticity, as well as their differential impacts on anxiety and cognition. PMID:27115125

  16. Behavioral responses of maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus, Canidae) to different categories of environmental enrichment stimuli and their implications for successful reintroduction.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Carlyle Mendes; de Azevedo, Cristiano Schetini; Young, Robert John

    2012-01-01

    The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus, Illiger, 1815, Canidae) is a threatened species that inhabits the cerrados of Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Captive maned wolves could be potentially used in reintroduction programs for species conservation; however, it is necessary that their behavior and cognitive abilities are conserved. Environmental enrichment is a tool used to stimulate captive animals and maintain a natural behavioral repertoire. To compare the variation of captive maned wolves' behavioral responses to environmental enrichment, we studied three maned wolves held by Belo Horizonte Zoo, Brazil. Foraging, interspecific, and intraspecific stimuli were offered to the animals and their responses were compared with a baseline and postenrichment treatments. The test was used to help in choosing which one of the three individuals would participate in a reintroduction project. The results showed that stimuli type did influence the animal's responses, and that individually wolves responded differently to foraging, interspecific, and intraspecific enrichment items (P80.05 for some behaviors in each enrichment category). The individual's personality seemed to influence their behavioral responses, with animals showing bold and shy responses, and this trait should be considered during decision makings for reintroduction. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Environmental enrichment decreases GABAergic inhibition and improves cognitive abilities, synaptic plasticity, and visual functions in a mouse model of Down syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Begenisic, Tatjana; Spolidoro, Maria; Braschi, Chiara; Baroncelli, Laura; Milanese, Marco; Pietra, Gianluca; Fabbri, Maria E.; Bonanno, Giambattista; Cioni, Giovanni; Maffei, Lamberto; Sale, Alessandro

    2011-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic disorder associated with mental retardation. It has been repeatedly shown that Ts65Dn mice, the prime animal model for DS, have severe cognitive and neural plasticity defects due to excessive inhibition. We report that increasing sensory-motor stimulation in adulthood through environmental enrichment (EE) reduces brain inhibition levels and promotes recovery of spatial memory abilities, hippocampal synaptic plasticity, and visual functions in adult Ts65Dn mice. PMID:22207837

  18. Benefits of a ball and chain: simple environmental enrichments improve welfare and reproductive success in farmed American mink (Neovison vison).

    PubMed

    Meagher, Rebecca K; Ahloy Dallaire, Jamie; Campbell, Dana L M; Ross, Misha; Møller, Steen H; Hansen, Steffen W; Díez-León, María; Palme, Rupert; Mason, Georgia J

    2014-01-01

    Can simple enrichments enhance caged mink welfare? Pilot data from 756 sub-adults spanning three colour-types (strains) identified potentially practical enrichments, and suggested beneficial effects on temperament and fur-chewing. Our main experiment started with 2032 Black mink on three farms: from each of 508 families, one juvenile male-female pair was enriched (E) with two balls and a hanging plastic chain or length of hose, while a second pair was left as a non-enriched (NE) control. At 8 months, more than half the subjects were killed for pelts, and 302 new females were recruited (half enriched: 'late E'). Several signs of improved welfare or productivity emerged. Access to enrichment increased play in juveniles. E mink were calmer (less aggressive in temperament tests; quieter when handled; less fearful, if male), and less likely to fur-chew, although other stereotypic behaviours were not reduced. On one farm, E females had lower cortisol (inferred from faecal metabolites). E males tended to copulate for longer. E females also weaned more offspring: about 10% more juveniles per E female, primarily caused by reduced rates of barrenness ('late E' females also giving birth to bigger litters on one farm), effects that our data cautiously suggest were partly mediated by reduced inactivity and changes in temperament. Pelt quality seemed unaffected, but E animals had cleaner cages. In a subsidiary side-study using 368 mink of a second colour-type ('Demis'), similar temperament effects emerged, and while E did not reduce fur-chewing or improve reproductive success in this colour-type, E animals were judged to have better pelts. Overall, simple enrichments were thus beneficial. These findings should encourage welfare improvements on fur farms (which house 60-70 million mink p.a.) and in breeding centres where endangered mustelids (e.g. black-footed ferrets) often reproduce poorly. They should also stimulate future research into more effective practical enrichments.

  19. Vascular Function Is Improved After an Environmental Enrichment Program: The Train the Brain-Mind the Vessel Study.

    PubMed

    Bruno, Rosa Maria; Stea, Francesco; Sicari, Rosa; Ghiadoni, Lorenzo; Taddei, Stefano; Ungar, Andrea; Bonuccelli, Ubaldo; Tognoni, Gloria; Cintoli, Simona; Del Turco, Serena; Sbrana, Silverio; Gargani, Luna; D'Angelo, Gennaro; Pratali, Lorenza; Berardi, Nicoletta; Maffei, Lamberto; Picano, Eugenio

    2018-06-01

    Environmental enrichment may slow cognitive decay possibly acting through an improvement in vascular function. Aim of the study was to assess the effects of a 7-month cognitive, social, and physical training program on cognitive and vascular function in patients with mild cognitive impairment. In a single-center, randomized, parallel-group study, 113 patients (age, 65-89 years) were randomized to multidomain training (n=55) or usual care (n=58). All participants underwent neuropsychological tests and vascular evaluation, including brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, carotid distensibility, and assessment of circulating hematopoietic CD34+ and endothelial progenitor cells. At study entry, an age-matched control group (n=45) was also studied. Compared with controls, patients had at study entry a reduced flow-mediated dilation (2.97±2.14% versus 3.73±2.06%; P =0.03) and hyperemic stimulus (shear rate area under the curve, 19.1±15.7 versus 25.7±15.1×10 -3 ; P =0.009); only the latter remained significant after adjustment for confounders ( P =0.03). Training improved Alzheimer disease assessment scale cognitive (training, 14.0±4.8 to 13.1±5.5; nontraining, 12.1±3.9 to 13.2±4.8; P for interaction visit×training=0.02), flow-mediated dilation (2.82±2.19% to 3.40±1.81%, 3.05±2.08% to 2.24±1.59%; P =0.006; P =0.023 after adjustment for diameter and shear rate area under the curve), and circulating hematopoietic CD34 + cells and prevented the decline in carotid distensibility (18.4±5.3 to 20.0±6.6, 23.9±11.0 to 19.5±7.1 Pa -1 ; P =0.005). The only clinical predictor of improvement of cognitive function after training was established hypertension. There was no correlation between changes in measures of cognitive and vascular function. In conclusion, a multidomain training program slows cognitive decline, especially in hypertensive individuals. This effect is accompanied by improved systemic endothelial function

  20. Parameters for abolishing conditioned place preference for cocaine from running and environmental enrichment in male C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Mustroph, M L; Pinardo, H; Merritt, J R; Rhodes, J S

    2016-10-01

    Evidence suggests that 4 weeks of voluntary wheel running abolishes conditioned place preference (CPP) for cocaine in male C57BL/6J mice. To determine the duration and timing of exposure to running wheels necessary to reduce CPP, and the extent to which the running per se influences CPP as compared to environmental enrichment without running. A total of 239 males were conditioned for 4days twice daily with cocaine (10mg/kg) and then split into 7 intervention groups prior to 4days of CPP testing. Experiment 1 consisted of two groups housed as follows: short sedentary group (SS; n=20) in normal cages for 1 week; the short running group (SR; n=20) with running wheels for 1 week. Experiment 2 consisted of five groups housed as follows; short 1 week of running followed by a 3 week sedentary period (SRS; n=20); a 3 week sedentary period followed by 1 week of running (SSR; n=20); long sedentary group (LS; n=66) in normal cages for 4 weeks; long running group (LR; n=66) with running wheels for 4 weeks; and long environmental enrichment group (EE; n=27) with toys for 4 weeks. Levels of running were similar in all running groups. Both running and environmental enrichment reduced CPP relative to sedentary groups. Results suggest that the abolishment of cocaine CPP from running is robust and occurs with as low as 1 week of intervention but may be related to enrichment component of running rather than physical activity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Environmental enrichment in steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) hatcheries: Field evaluation of aggression, foraging, and territoriality in natural and hatchery fry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tatara, C.P.; Riley, S.C.; Scheurer, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    Reforms for salmonid hatcheries include production of hatchery fish with behavioral characteristics similar to wild conspecifics. Enrichment of the hatchery environment has been proposed to achieve this goal. Field experiments of steelhead (i.e., sea-run rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss) fry from a common stock reared under natural (i.e., stream), enriched hatchery, and conventional hatchery conditions indicated no significant differences in the rates of foraging or aggression between rearing treatments. However, the rates of foraging and aggression of natural fry were significantly affected by the type of hatchery fry stocked with them. Natural steelhead fry fed at lower rates and exhibited higher rates of aggression when stocked with steelhead fry raised in enriched hatchery environments. Territory sizes of steelhead fry ranged from 0.015 to 0.801 m2; were significantly, positively related to body length; and were not significantly different between rearing treatments. We conclude that hatchery steelhead fry released into streams establish territories that are proportional to their body length and similar in size to territories of natural steelhead fry. Our results indicate that both conventional and enriched hatchery environments produce natural social behaviors in steelhead released as fry and that fry from enriched hatchery environments may alter the foraging and aggressive behavior of natural, resident steelhead fry. ?? 2008 NRC.

  2. Relatively brief environmental enrichment aids recovery of learning capacity and alters brain measures after postweaning brain lesions in rats

    SciTech Connect

    Will, B.E.; Rosenzweig, M.R.; Bennett, E.L.

    1977-01-01

    Enriched postlesion experience aided in overcoming effects of simultaneous bilateral cerebral lesions made at 30 days of age in one experiment with inbred Fischer rats and in a second experiment with the Berkeley S/sub 1/ strain. The lesions were directed to the occipital cortex, but in most cases there was also some impairment of the hippocampus. For 60 days after operations, half of the rats lived in small individual cages and half lived in groups in large enriched-environment cages. They were then pretrained and tested on the standard 12 Hebb-Williams problems. Daily injections of methamphetamine (vs. saline) during the periodmore » of differential experience in the first experiment produced no effect on the behavioral scores. The second experiment included groups that received only 2 hr/day of enriched experience, and they benefited as much as groups that remained in the enriched environment 24 hr/day. The results of both experiments demonstrated significant beneficial effects of environment when bilateral lesions were made at a later age and when the periods of enriched experience were shorter than had previously been tested. Two additional experiments revealed significant effects of both lesions and environment on weight and RNA/DNA of brain regions.« less

  3. Perinatal and Early Childhood Environmental Factors Influencing Allergic Asthma Immunopathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Gaffin, Jonathan M.; Kanchongkittiphon, Watcharoot; Phipatanakul, Wanda

    2014-01-01

    Background The prevalence of asthma has increased dramatically over the past several decades. While hereditary factors are highly important, the rapid rise outstrips the pace of genomic variation. Great emphasis has been placed on potential modifiable early life exposures leading to childhood asthma. Methods We reviewed the recent medical literature for important studies discussing the role of the perinatal and early childhood exposures and the inception of childhood asthma. Results and Discussion Early life exposure to allergens (House dust mite (HDM), furred pets, cockroach, rodent and mold)air pollution (nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter (PM)) and viral respiratory tract infections (Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human rhinovirus (hRV)) have been implicated in the development of asthma in high risk children. Conversely, exposure to microbial diversity in the perinatal period may diminish the development of atopy and asthma symptoms. PMID:24952205

  4. Development of Environmental Load Estimation Model for Road Drainage Systems in the Early Design Phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Jin-Young; Lee, Dong-Eun; Kim, Byung-Soo

    2017-10-01

    Due to the increasing concern about climate change, efforts to reduce environmental load are continuously being made in construction industry, and LCA (life cycle assessment) is being presented as an effective method to assess environmental load. Since LCA requires information on construction quantity used for environmental load estimation, however, it is not being utilized in the environmental review in the early design phase where it is difficult to obtain such information. In this study, computation system for construction quantity based on standard cross section of road drainage facilities was developed to compute construction quantity required for LCA using only information available in the early design phase to develop and verify the effectiveness of a model that can perform environmental load estimation. The result showed that it is an effective model that can be used in the early design phase as it revealed a 13.39% mean absolute error rate.

  5. "Growing Up WILD": Teaching Environmental Education in Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fortino, Carol; Gerretson, Helen; Button, Linda; Masters, Vivian

    2014-01-01

    A growing body of research, both nationally and internationally, indicates that children in the early childhood years (birth to age 8) learn primarily through their senses and from direct experience. They develop an understanding about the world through play, exploration, and creative activities as well as by watching and imitating adults and…

  6. Benefits of a Ball and Chain: Simple Environmental Enrichments Improve Welfare and Reproductive Success in Farmed American Mink (Neovison vison)

    PubMed Central

    Meagher, Rebecca K.; Ahloy Dallaire, Jamie; Campbell, Dana L. M.; Ross, Misha; Møller, Steen H.; Hansen, Steffen W.; Díez-León, María; Palme, Rupert; Mason, Georgia J.

    2014-01-01

    Can simple enrichments enhance caged mink welfare? Pilot data from 756 sub-adults spanning three colour-types (strains) identified potentially practical enrichments, and suggested beneficial effects on temperament and fur-chewing. Our main experiment started with 2032 Black mink on three farms: from each of 508 families, one juvenile male-female pair was enriched (E) with two balls and a hanging plastic chain or length of hose, while a second pair was left as a non-enriched (NE) control. At 8 months, more than half the subjects were killed for pelts, and 302 new females were recruited (half enriched: ‘late E’). Several signs of improved welfare or productivity emerged. Access to enrichment increased play in juveniles. E mink were calmer (less aggressive in temperament tests; quieter when handled; less fearful, if male), and less likely to fur-chew, although other stereotypic behaviours were not reduced. On one farm, E females had lower cortisol (inferred from faecal metabolites). E males tended to copulate for longer. E females also weaned more offspring: about 10% more juveniles per E female, primarily caused by reduced rates of barrenness (‘late E’ females also giving birth to bigger litters on one farm), effects that our data cautiously suggest were partly mediated by reduced inactivity and changes in temperament. Pelt quality seemed unaffected, but E animals had cleaner cages. In a subsidiary side-study using 368 mink of a second colour-type (‘Demis’), similar temperament effects emerged, and while E did not reduce fur-chewing or improve reproductive success in this colour-type, E animals were judged to have better pelts. Overall, simple enrichments were thus beneficial. These findings should encourage welfare improvements on fur farms (which house 60-70 million mink p.a.) and in breeding centres where endangered mustelids (e.g. black-footed ferrets) often reproduce poorly. They should also stimulate future research into more effective practical

  7. Early Childhood Environmental Education: A Hong Kong Example

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, John Chi-Kin; Ma, William Hing Tong

    2006-01-01

    This article describes a university-kindergarten partnership project with teachers in four kindergartens to participate in four three-hour workshops and then to develop their own school-based environmental programs. The four teaching themes of the programs were Animals, Plants, Food and Green Angels. In each kindergarten, a core group of staff was…

  8. Enriching the Early Childhood Expertise of Elementary School Principals: Can a One-Shot College Course Make a Difference?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henry, Julie J.; Barnett, Marion

    2004-01-01

    A summer course was specifically designed for principals and aspiring principals to help them become more expert in principles of early childhood education. During the pilot, 10 volunteer participants completed a survey of beliefs on early childhood education before and after the course and submitted a piece of reflective writing each day. Gains…

  9. Targeted gene enrichment and high-throughput sequencing for environmental biomonitoring: a case study using freshwater macroinvertebrates.

    PubMed

    Dowle, Eddy J; Pochon, Xavier; C Banks, Jonathan; Shearer, Karen; Wood, Susanna A

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies have advocated biomonitoring using DNA techniques. In this study, two high-throughput sequencing (HTS)-based methods were evaluated: amplicon metabarcoding of the cytochrome C oxidase subunit I (COI) mitochondrial gene and gene enrichment using MYbaits (targeting nine different genes including COI). The gene-enrichment method does not require PCR amplification and thus avoids biases associated with universal primers. Macroinvertebrate samples were collected from 12 New Zealand rivers. Macroinvertebrates were morphologically identified and enumerated, and their biomass determined. DNA was extracted from all macroinvertebrate samples and HTS undertaken using the illumina miseq platform. Macroinvertebrate communities were characterized from sequence data using either six genes (three of the original nine were not used) or just the COI gene in isolation. The gene-enrichment method (all genes) detected the highest number of taxa and obtained the strongest Spearman rank correlations between the number of sequence reads, abundance and biomass in 67% of the samples. Median detection rates across rare (<1% of the total abundance or biomass), moderately abundant (1-5%) and highly abundant (>5%) taxa were highest using the gene-enrichment method (all genes). Our data indicated primer biases occurred during amplicon metabarcoding with greater than 80% of sequence reads originating from one taxon in several samples. The accuracy and sensitivity of both HTS methods would be improved with more comprehensive reference sequence databases. The data from this study illustrate the challenges of using PCR amplification-based methods for biomonitoring and highlight the potential benefits of using approaches, such as gene enrichment, which circumvent the need for an initial PCR step. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Blue-Enriched White Light Enhances Physiological Arousal But Not Behavioral Performance during Simulated Driving at Early Night

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Morilla, Beatriz; Madrid, Juan A.; Molina, Enrique; Correa, Angel

    2017-01-01

    Vigilance usually deteriorates over prolonged driving at non-optimal times of day. Exposure to blue-enriched light has shown to enhance arousal, leading to behavioral benefits in some cognitive tasks. However, the cognitive effects of long-wavelength light have been less studied and its effects on driving performance remained to be addressed. We tested the effects of a blue-enriched white light (BWL) and a long-wavelength orange light (OL) vs. a control condition of dim light on subjective, physiological and behavioral measures at 21:45 h. Neurobehavioral tests included the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale and subjective mood scale, recording of distal-proximal temperature gradient (DPG, as index of physiological arousal), accuracy in simulated driving and reaction time in the auditory psychomotor vigilance task. The results showed that BWL decreased the DPG (reflecting enhanced arousal), while it did not improve reaction time or driving performance. Instead, blue light produced larger driving errors than OL, while performance in OL was stable along time on task. These data suggest that physiological arousal induced by light does not necessarily imply cognitive improvement. Indeed, excessive arousal might deteriorate accuracy in complex tasks requiring precision, such as driving. PMID:28690558

  11. Re-Os systematics of early proterozoic ferropicrites, Pechenga Complex, northwestern Russia: Evidence for ancient 187Os-enriched plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Richard J.; Morgan, John W.; Hanski, Eero J.; Smolkin, Valery F.

    1997-08-01

    The Re-Os isotopic systematics of various ferropicritic flows and sills of the Pechenga Complex, Russia, have been examined. During crystallization about 1.98 Ga ago, many of these bodies became highly differentiated. In addition, some of the larger igneous units are associated with major NiCu ore deposits. The melts that produced these rocks have been termed ferropicritic because of their high FeO and MgO contents. They are also enriched in light rare earth elements (LREEs), TiO 2, Zr, and many other incompatible trace elements. Previous studies have concluded that the ferropicrites were most likely derived from an Fe-rich mantle plume that had a complex history of long-term LREE depletion (initial ɛNd = + 1.4), but that also experienced a LREE enrichment event within 200 Ma of the generation of the rocks. Whole rock samples believed to be most representative of primary melt compositions indicate that initial melt concentrations of rhenium and osmium were approximately 1.1 ppb and 0.5 ppb, respectively. The high primary melt concentrations presumably made the osmium contained in the melts relatively immune to the effects of crustal contamination. Nonetheless, all ore-bearing intrusions examined show osmium isotopic evidence for crustal contamination. For example, the initial γOs for some primary magmatic sulfides from the Pilgujärvi intrusion average +46. Other ore-bearing intrusions, such as the Kammikivi sill, appear to have been similarly contaminated by crustal osmium during the injection of magma, with initial yo, values as high as +251. The seemingly high levels of crustal osmium may be attributed to the rapidly diminishing concentrations of osmium in the melts as the larger bodies differentiated, combined with localized in situ assimilation of the metasedimentary rocks that comprise the country rocks. The Re-Os systematics of some whole rock samples of both mineralized and sulfide-poor intrusions were affected by post-magmatic events, especially the

  12. No economic benefit of early knee reconstruction over optional delayed reconstruction for ACL tears: registry enriched randomised controlled trial data.

    PubMed

    Kiadaliri, Aliasghar A; Englund, Martin; Lohmander, L Stefan; Carlsson, Katarina Steen; Frobell, Richard B

    2016-05-01

    To analyse 5-year cost-effectiveness of early versus optional delayed acute anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. 121 young, active adults with acute ACL injury to a previously uninjured knee were randomised to early ACL reconstruction (n=62, within 10 weeks of injury) or optional delayed ACL reconstruction (n=59; 30 with ACL reconstruction within 6-55 months); all patients received similar structured rehabilitation. Real life data on health care utilisation and sick leave were obtained from regional and national registers. Costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were discounted at 3%. Full-analysis set (based on study randomisation) and as-treated analysis (according to actual treatment over 5 years) principles were applied. Mean cost of early ACL reconstruction was €4695 higher than optional delayed ACL reconstruction (p=0.19) and provided an additional 0.13 QALYs (p=0.11). Full-analysis set showed incremental net benefit of early versus optional delayed ACL reconstruction was not statistically significantly different from zero at any level. As-treated analysis showed that costs for rehabilitation alone were €13 650 less than early ACL reconstruction (p<0.001). Results were robust to sensitivity analyses. In young active adults with acute ACL injury, a strategy of early ACL reconstruction did not provide extra economic value over a strategy of optional delayed ACL reconstruction over a 5-year period. Results from this and previous reports of the KANON-trial imply that early identification of individuals who would benefit from either early ACL reconstruction or rehabilitation alone might reduce resource consumption and decrease risk of unnecessary overtreatment. ISRCTN84752559. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  13. Final Environmental Impact Statement for the construction and operation of Claiborne Enrichment Center, Homer, Louisiana (Docket No. 70-3-70). Volume 2, Public comments and NRC response

    SciTech Connect

    Zeitoun, A.

    The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) (Volume 1), was prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in accordance with regulation 10 CFR Part 51, which implements the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to assess the potential environmental impacts for licensing the construction and operation of a proposed gaseous centrifuge enrichment facility to be built in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana by Louisiana Energy Services, L.P. (LES). The proposed facility would have a production capacity of about 866 metric tons annually of up to 5 weight percent enriched UF{sub 6}, using a proven centrifuge technology. Included in the assessment are co on, bothmore » normal operations and potential accidents (internal and external events), and the eventual decontamination and decommissioning of the site. In order to help assure that releases from the operation of the facility and potential impacts on the public are as low as reasonably achievable, an environmental monitoring program was developed by LES to detect significant changes in the background levels of uranium around the site. Other issues addressed include the purpose and need for the facility, the alternatives to the proposed action, potential disposition of the tails, the site selection process, and environmental justice. The NRC staff concludes that the facility can be constructed and operated with small and acceptable impacts on the public and the environment, and proposes to issue a license to the applicant, Louisiana Energy Services, to authorize construction and operation of the proposed facility. The letters in this Appendix have been divided into three sections. Section One contains letters to which the NRC responded by addressing specific comments. Section Two contains the letters that concerned the communities of Forest Grove and Center Springs. Section Three is composed of letters that required no response. These letters were generally in support of the facility.« less

  14. Empathy in early childhood: genetic, environmental, and affective contributions.

    PubMed

    Knafo, Ariel; Zahn-Waxler, Carolyn; Davidov, Maayan; Van Hulle, Carol; Robinson, JoAnn L; Rhee, Soo Hyun

    2009-06-01

    We investigated the genetic and environmental origins of children's empathy toward a distress victim and its correlates with emotional symptoms and affective knowledge. The cognitive (hypothesis testing) and affective (empathic concern) empathy of 122 twin pairs in response to simulated pain by an adult examiner was observed at 3.5 years of age. Moderate (0.19 to 0.44) heritabilities were estimated for individual differences in empathy, and the nonshared environment and error accounted for the rest of the variance. Hypothesis testing and empathic concern were moderately correlated, mainly through overlapping genetic effects. Although children's affective knowledge did not correlate with their empathy, affective knowledge interacted with mother-rated emotional symptoms in predicting empathy; knowledge about emotions was associated with greater empathy in children low in emotional symptoms. In contrast, among children with high degrees of emotional symptoms, those with better affective knowledge tended to show lower empathy.

  15. Effects of environmental enrichment during abstinence in morphine dependent parents on anxiety, depressive-like behaviors and voluntary morphine consumption in rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Pooriamehr, Alireza; Sabahi, Parviz; Miladi-Gorji, Hossein

    2017-08-24

    Chronic morphine exposure during puberty increased morphine-induced rewarding effects and sensitization in the next generation. Given the well-known beneficial effects of environmental enrichment on the severity of physical and psychological dependence on morphine, we examined effects of enriched environment during morphine abstinence in morphine dependent parental rats before mating on the anxiety and depressive-like behaviors, and voluntary morphine consumption in their offspring. Paternal and/or maternal rats were injected with bi-daily doses (10mg/kg, 12h intervals) of morphine for 14days followed by rearing in a standard environment (SE) or enriched environment (EE) during 30days of morphine abstinence before mating. The pubertal male and female rat offspring were tested for anxiety (the elevated plus maze- EPM) and depression (sucrose preference test-SPT), and voluntary morphine consumption using a two-bottle choice (TBC) paradigm. The results showed that EE experience in morphine-dependent both parents result in an increase in the percentage of time spent into open arms/time spent on both arms using EPM in male offspring, higher levels of sucrose preference in female offspring and lower levels of voluntary morphine consumption in male and female offspring. Thus, EE experience in morphine-dependent both parents reduced anxiety, depressive-like behavior and also the voluntary morphine consumption in their offspring during puberty which may prevent the vulnerability of the next generation to drug abuse. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Effects of environmental enrichment on growth, aggressive behaviour and brain monoamines of gilthead seabream Sparus aurata reared under different social conditions.

    PubMed

    Batzina, Alkisti; Dalla, Christina; Papadopoulou-Daifoti, Zeta; Karakatsouli, Nafsika

    2014-03-01

    The presence of blue or red-brown substrate on the tank bottom has been previously reported as an efficient means of environmental enrichment for gilthead seabream. The present study aimed to investigate whether this enrichment is still beneficial when gilthead seabream is reared under different social conditions (i.e. a lower 4.9 kg m(-3) and a higher 9.7 kg m(-3) density). Water exchange was adjusted according to fish biomass to exclude density effects on water quality. In the enriched tanks single-colour glass gravel was used as substrate (blue and red-brown substrate, or BS and RBS respectively), while control tanks had no gravel. Growth, aggressive behaviour and size distribution results indicated that the lower density created a less favourable social environment. In both densities studied, BS enhanced growth, suppressed aggression and reduced brain serotonergic activity. In the condition of intense social interactions (i.e. the lower density) BS also reduced brain dopaminergic activity. These results along with the negative correlations observed between brain monoamines and fish body mass, indicated that substrate and density effects are socially-induced. However, there may be several biotic and/or abiotic factors interfering with substrate effects that should be investigated before the practical use of a substrate in land-based intensive aquaculture. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The investigation of neonatal MK-801 administration and physical environmental enrichment on emotional and cognitive functions in adult Balb/c mice.

    PubMed

    Akillioglu, Kubra; Babar Melik, Emine; Melik, Enver; Kocahan, Sayad

    2012-09-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play an important role in brain maturation and developmental processes. It is known that growing up in an enriched environment has effects on emotional and cognitive performance. In our study, we evaluated the effects of physically enriched environment on the emotional and cognitive functions of the adult brain in the setting of previous NMDA receptor hypoactivity during the critical developmental period of the nervous system. In this study, NMDA receptor blockade was induced 5-10 days postnatally (PD5-10) using MK-801 in mice Balb/c (twice a day 0.25 mg/kg, for 5 days, intraperitoneal). MK-801 was given to developing mice living in a standard (SE) and an enrichment environment (EE) and once the animals reached adulthood, emotional behaviors were evaluated using an open field test (OF) and an elevated plus maze (EPM) test whereas cognitive processes were evaluated using the Morris water-maze (MWM). The EE group showed decreased locomotor activity (p<0.05) in the OF and increased exploratory behaviour (p<0.01) and decreased fear of heights/anxiety-like behaviour (p<0.05) in the EPM test. The EE had positive effects on spatial learning in the MWM (p<0.05). Blockade of the NMDA receptor increased the fear of height (p<0.05), decreased exploratory behaviour and locomotor activity (p<0.001). Also, it led to decreased spatial learning (p<0.05). The decreases in spatial learning and exploratory behaviours and the increase in fear of heights/anxiety-like behaviour with NMDA receptor blockade was not reversed by EE. NMDA receptor blockade during the critical period of development led to deterioration in the emotional and cognitive processes during adulthood. An enriched environmental did not reverse the deleterious effects of the NMDA receptor blockade on emotional and cognitive functions. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. Environmental Consequences of Big Nasty Impacts on the Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    The geological record of the Archean Earth is spattered with impact spherules from a dozen or so major cosmic collisions involving Earth and asteroids or comets (Lowe, Byerly 1986, 2015). Extrapolation of the documented deposits suggests that most of these impacts were as big or bigger than the Chicxulub event that famously ended the reign of the thunder lizards. As the Archean impacts were greater, the environmental effects were also greater. The number and magnitude of the impacts is bounded by the lunar record. There are no lunar craters bigger than Chicxulub that date to Earth's mid-to-late Archean. Chance dictates that Earth experienced no more than approximately 10 impacts bigger than Chicxulub between 2.5 billion years and 3.5 billion years, the biggest of which were approximately 30-100 times more energetic, comparable to the Orientale impact on the Moon (1x10 (sup 26) joules). To quantify the thermal consequences of big impacts on old Earth, we model the global flow of energy from the impact into the environment. The model presumes that a significant fraction of the impact energy goes into ejecta that interact with the atmosphere. Much of this energy is initially in rock vapor, melt, and high speed particles. (i) The upper atmosphere is heated by ejecta as they reenter the atmosphere. The mix of hot air, rock vapor, and hot silicates cools by thermal radiation. Rock raindrops fall out as the upper atmosphere cools. (ii) The energy balance of the lower atmosphere is set by radiative exchange with the upper atmosphere and with the surface, and by evaporation of seawater. Susequent cooling is governed by condensation of water vapor. (iii) The oceans are heated by thermal radiation and rock rain and cooled by evaporation. Surface waters become hot and salty; if a deep ocean remains it is relatively cool. Subsequently water vapor condenses to replenish the oceans with hot fresh water (how fresh depending on continental weathering, which might be rather rapid

  19. Environmental Consequences of Big Nasty Impacts on the Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    The geological record of the Archean Earth is spattered with impact spherules from a dozen or so major cosmic collisions involving Earth and asteroids or comets (Lowe, Byerly 1986, 2015). Extrapolation of the documented deposits suggests that most of these impacts were as big or bigger than the Chicxulub event that famously ended the reign of the thunder lizards. As the Archean impacts were greater, the environmental effects were also greater. The number and magnitude of the impacts is bounded by the lunar record. There are no lunar craters bigger than Chicxulub that date to Earth's mid-to-late Archean. Chance dictates that Earth experienced no more than approximately 10 impacts bigger than Chicxulub between 2.5 billion years and 3.5 2.5 billion years, the biggest of which were approximately30-100 times more energetic, comparable to the Orientale impact on the Moon (1x10 (sup 26) joules). To quantify the thermal consequences of big impacts on old Earth, we model the global flow of energy from the impact into the environment. The model presumes that a significant fraction of the impact energy goes into ejecta that interact with the atmosphere. Much of this energy is initially in rock vapor, melt, and high speed particles. (i) The upper atmosphere is heated by ejecta as they reenter the atmosphere. The mix of hot air, rock vapor, and hot silicates cools by thermal radiation. Rock raindrops fall out as the upper atmosphere cools. (ii) The energy balance of the lower atmosphere is set by radiative exchange with the upper atmosphere and with the surface, and by evaporation of seawater. Susequent cooling is governed by condensation of water vapor. (iii) The oceans are heated by thermal radiation and rock rain and cooled by evaporation. Surface waters become hot and salty; if a deep ocean remains it is relatively cool. Subsequently water vapor condenses to replenish the oceans with hot fresh water (how fresh depending on continental weathering, which might be rather rapid

  20. Environmental Consequences of Big Nasty Impacts on the Early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    The geological record of the Archean Earth is spattered with impact spherules from a dozen or so major cosmic collisions involving Earth and asteroids or comets (Lowe, Byerly 1986, 2015). Extrapolation of the documented deposits suggests that most of these impacts were as big or bigger than the Chicxulub event that famously ended the reign of the thunder lizards. As the Archean impacts were greater, the environmental effects were also greater. The number and magnitude of the impacts is bounded by the lunar record. There are no lunar craters bigger than Chicxulub that date to Earth's mid-to-late Archean. Chance dictates that Earth experienced ~10 impacts bigger than Chicxulub between 2.5 Ga and 3.5 Ga, the biggest of which were ~30-100X more energetic than Chicxulub. To quantify the thermal consequences of big impacts on old Earth, we model the global flow of energy from the impact into the environment. The model presumes that a significant fraction of the impact energy goes into ejecta that interact with the atmosphere. Much of this energy is initially in rock vapor, melt, and high speed particles. (i) The upper atmosphere is heated by ejecta as they reenter the atmosphere. The mix of hot air, rock vapor, and hot silicates cools by thermal radiation. Rock raindrops fall out as the upper atmosphere cools. (ii) The energy balance of the lower atmosphere is set by radiative exchange with the upper atmosphere and with the surface, and by evaporation of seawater. Susequent cooling is governed by condensation of water vapor. (iii) The oceans are heated by thermal radiation and rock rain and cooled by evaporation. Surface waters become hot and salty; if a deep ocean remains it is relatively cool. Subsequently water vapor condenses to replenish the oceans with hot fresh water (how fresh depending on continental weathering, which might be rather rapid under the circumstances). (iv) The surface temperature of dry land is presumed to be the same as the lower atmosphere. A

  1. Shared genetic and environmental influences on early temperament and preschool psychiatric disorders in Hispanic twins

    PubMed Central

    Silberg, Judy L.; Gillespie, Nathan; Moore, Ashlee A.; Eaves, Lindon J.; Bates, John; Aggen, Steven; Pfister, Elizabeth; Canino, Glorisa

    2015-01-01

    Objective Despite an increasing recognition that psychiatric disorders can be diagnosed as early as preschool, little is known how early genetic and environmental risk factors contribute to the development of psychiatric disorders during this very early period of development. Method We assessed infant temperament at age 1, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and separation anxiety disorder (SAD) at ages 3 through 5 years in a sample of Hispanic twins. Genetic, shared, and non-shared environmental effects were estimated for each temperamental construct and psychiatric disorder using the statistical program MX. Multivariate genetic models were fitted to determine whether the same or different sets of genes and environments account for the co-occurrence between early temperament and preschool psychiatric disorders. Results Additive genetic factors accounted for 61% of the variance in ADHD, 21% in ODD, and 28% in SAD. Shared environmental factors accounted for 34% of the variance in ODD and 15% of SAD. The genetic influence on difficult temperament was significantly associated with preschool ADHD, SAD, and ODD. The association between ODD and SAD was due to both genetic and family environmental factors. The temperamental trait of resistance to control was entirely accounted for by the shared family environment. Conclusions There are different genetic and family environmental pathways between infant temperament and psychiatric diagnoses in this sample of Puerto Rican preschool age children. PMID:25728588

  2. Shared genetic and environmental influences on early temperament and preschool psychiatric disorders in Hispanic twins.

    PubMed

    Silberg, Judy L; Gillespie, Nathan; Moore, Ashlee A; Eaves, Lindon J; Bates, John; Aggen, Steven; Pfister, Elizabeth; Canino, Glorisa

    2015-04-01

    Despite an increasing recognition that psychiatric disorders can be diagnosed as early as preschool, little is known how early genetic and environmental risk factors contribute to the development of psychiatric disorders during this very early period of development. We assessed infant temperament at age 1, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and separation anxiety disorder (SAD) at ages 3 through 5 years in a sample of Hispanic twins. Genetic, shared, and non-shared environmental effects were estimated for each temperamental construct and psychiatric disorder using the statistical program MX. Multivariate genetic models were fitted to determine whether the same or different sets of genes and environments account for the co-occurrence between early temperament and preschool psychiatric disorders. Additive genetic factors accounted for 61% of the variance in ADHD, 21% in ODD, and 28% in SAD. Shared environmental factors accounted for 34% of the variance in ODD and 15% of SAD. The genetic influence on difficult temperament was significantly associated with preschool ADHD, SAD, and ODD. The association between ODD and SAD was due to both genetic and family environmental factors. The temperamental trait of resistance to control was entirely accounted for by the shared family environment. There are different genetic and family environmental pathways between infant temperament and psychiatric diagnoses in this sample of Puerto Rican preschool age children.

  3. Preemptive treatment of early donor specific antibodies with IgA- and IgM-enriched intravenous human immunoglobulins in lung transplantation.

    PubMed

    Ius, Fabio; Verboom, Murielle; Sommer, Wiebke; Poyanmehr, Reza; Knoefel, Ann-Kathrin; Salman, Jawad; Kuehn, Christian; Avsar, Murat; Siemeni, Thierry; Erdfelder, Caroline; Hallensleben, Michael; Boethig, Dietmar; Schwerk, Nicolaus; Mueller, Carsten; Welte, Tobias; Falk, Christine; Haverich, Axel; Tudorache, Igor; Warnecke, Gregor

    2018-05-02

    This retrospective study presents our 4-year experience of preemptive treatment of early anti-HLA donor specific antibodies with IgA- and IgM-enriched immunoglobulins. We compared outcomes between patients with antibodies and treatment (case patients) and patients without antibodies (control patients). Records of patients transplanted at our institution between 03/2013 and 11/2017 were reviewed. The treatment protocol included one single 2g/kg immunoglobulin infusion followed by successive 0.5g/kg infusions for a maximum of 6 months, usually combined with a single dose of anti-CD20 antibody and, in case of clinical rejection or positive crossmatch, with plasmapheresis or immunoabsorption. Among the 598 transplanted patients, 128 (21%) patients formed the case group and 452 (76%) the control group. In 116 (91%) patients who completed treatment, 106 (91%) showed no antibodies at treatment end. Fourteen (13%) patients showed antibody recurrence thereafter. In case vs. control patients and at 4-year follow-up, respectively, graft survival (%) was 79 vs. 81 (p=0.59), freedom (%) from biopsy-confirmed rejection 57 vs. 53 (p=0.34) and from chronic lung allograft dysfunction 82 vs. 78 (p=0.83). After lung transplantation, patients with early donor specific antibodies and treated with IgA- and IgM-enriched immunoglobulins had 4-year graft survival similar to patients without antibodies and showed high antibody clearance. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  4. Effects of Postnatal Enriched Environment in a Model of Parkinson's Disease in Adult Rats.

    PubMed

    Jungling, Adel; Reglodi, Dora; Karadi, Zsofia Nozomi; Horvath, Gabor; Farkas, Jozsef; Gaszner, Balazs; Tamas, Andrea

    2017-02-14

    Environmental enrichment is a widespread neuroprotective strategy during development and also in the mature nervous system. Several research groups have described that enriched environment in adult rats has an impact on the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). The aim of our present study was to examine the effects of early, postnatal environmental enrichment after 6-hydroxydopamine-induced (6-OHDA) lesion of the substantia nigra in adulthood. Newborn Wistar rats were divided into control and enriched groups according to their environmental conditions. For environmental enrichment, during the first five postnatal weeks animals were placed in larger cages and exposed to intensive complex stimuli. Dopaminergic cell loss, and hypokinetic and asymmetrical signs were evaluated after inducing PD with unilateral injections of 6-OHDA in three-month-old animals. Treatment with 6-OHDA led to a significant cell loss in the substantia nigra of control animals, however, postnatal enriched circumstances could rescue the dopaminergic cells. Although there was no significant difference in the percentage of surviving cells between 6-OHDA-treated control and enriched groups, the slightly less dopaminergic cell loss in the enriched group compared to control animals resulted in less severe hypokinesia. Our investigation is the first to provide evidence for the neuroprotective effect of postnatal enriched environment in PD later in life.

  5. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Early Literacy Skills across School Grade Contexts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haughbrook, Rasheda; Hart, Sara A.; Schatschneider, Christopher; Taylor, Jeanette

    2017-01-01

    Recent research suggests that the etiology of reading achievement can differ across environmental contexts. In the US, schools are commonly assigned grades (e.g. "A," "B") often interpreted to indicate school quality. This study explored differences in the etiology of early literacy skills for students based on these school…

  6. The Genetic and Environmental Origins of Learning Abilities and Disabilities in the Early School Years

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kovas, Yulia; Haworth, Claire M. A.; Dale, Philip S.; Plomin, Robert

    2007-01-01

    Despite the importance of learning abilities and disabilities in education and child development, little is known about their genetic and environmental origins in the early school years. We report results for English (which includes reading, writing, and speaking), mathematics, and science as well as general cognitive ability in a large and…

  7. Regarding Animals: A Perspective on the Importance of Animals in Early Childhood Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Born, Patty

    2018-01-01

    Using the human-animal bond, relational ecology, and the "common world" framework as theoretical underpinnings, I set out to better understand the array of settings and experiences wherein young children are able to interact, either directly or indirectly with animals within the context of early childhood environmental education (ECEE).…

  8. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Affiliation with Deviant Peers during Adolescence and Early Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tarantino, Nicholas; Tully, Erin C.; Garcia, Sarah E.; South, Susan; Iacono, William G.; McGue, Matt

    2014-01-01

    Adolescence and early adulthood is a time when peer groups become increasingly influential in the lives of young people. Youths exposed to deviant peers risk susceptibility to externalizing behaviors and related psychopathology. In addition to environmental correlates of deviant peer affiliation, a growing body of evidence has suggested that…

  9. Genetic and environmental factors affecting early rooting of six Populus genomic groups: implications for tree improvement

    Treesearch

    Ronald S., Jr. Zalesny

    2006-01-01

    Genetic and environmental factors affect the early rooting of Populus planted as unrooted hardwood cuttings. Populus genotypes of six genomic groups were tested in numerous studies for the quantitative genetics of rooting, along with effects of preplanting treatments and soil temperature. Genetics data (e.g. heritabilities,...

  10. Early Childhood Environmental Education in Tropical and Coastal Areas: A Meta-Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawitri, D. R.

    2017-02-01

    Early childhood years are the period of the greatest and most significant developments in ones’ life, and are generally regarded as the basis upon which the rest of their life is constructed. However, these early years are those that traditionally have received the least attention from environmental education. This paper was aimed to summarize several day-to-day activities that can be conducted to educate children in their early years about environment. Environmental education is an educational process that deals with the human interrelationships with the environment, and that uses an interdisciplinary problem solving approach with value clarification. Environmental education is aimed at producing a community that is knowledgeable about the biophysical environment and its associated problems, aware of how to solve these problems, and enthusiastic to work toward their solution. It highlights the progress of knowledge, understanding, attitudes, skills, and commitment for environmental problems and considerations. Further, environmental education can help children expand their ecological worldview, promote active care to the environment, and explain the relationship between modern life style and current environmental problems. Several types of environmental education have been identified from the literature, such as outdoor activities in natural outdoor setting, school gardening, play-based learning, and drawing activities. Each of these activities has its own characteristics and effects on children’s environmental-related attitudes and behaviors. Through these activities, the unique characteristics of tropical and coastal areas can potentially be used to facilitate children to learn about nature and environment. Recommendations for childhood education practitioners and future researchers are discussed.

  11. Foamy Monocytes Are Enriched in cis-7-Hexadecenoic Fatty Acid (16:1n-9), a Possible Biomarker for Early Detection of Cardiovascular Disease.

    PubMed

    Guijas, Carlos; Meana, Clara; Astudillo, Alma M; Balboa, María A; Balsinde, Jesús

    2016-06-23

    Human monocytes respond to arachidonic acid, a secretory product of endothelial cells, by activating the de novo pathway of fatty acid biosynthesis, resulting in the acquisition of a foamy phenotype due to accumulation of cytoplasmic lipid droplets. Recruitment of foamy monocytes to endothelium is a key step in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. Here we describe that lipid droplets of foamy monocytes are enriched in a rather uncommon fatty acid, cis-7-hexadecenoic acid (16:1n-9), a positional isomer of palmitoleic acid. 16:1n-9 was found to possess an anti-inflammatory activity both in vitro and in vivo that is comparable with that of omega-3 fatty acids and clearly distinguishable from the effects of palmitoleic acid. Selective accumulation in neutral lipids of phagocytic cells of an uncommon fatty acid reveals an early phenotypic change that may provide a biomarker of proatherogenicity, and a potential target for intervention in the early stages of cardiovascular disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Effect of environmental enrichment on physical and psychological dependence signs and voluntary morphine consumption in morphine-dependent and morphine-withdrawn rats.

    PubMed

    Hammami-Abrand Abadi, Arezoo; Miladi-Gorji, Hossein; Bigdeli, Imanollah

    2016-04-01

    This study was designed to examine the effect of environmental enrichment during morphine dependency and withdrawal on the severity of naloxone-precipitated withdrawal signs, anxiety, and depressive-like behaviors and voluntary morphine consumption in morphine-dependent rats. The rats were injected with bi-daily doses (10 mg/kg, 12 h intervals) of morphine for 14 days following rearing in a standard environment (SE) or enriched environment (EE) during the development of morphine dependence and withdrawal. Then, rats were tested for withdrawal signs after naloxone injection, anxiety (the elevated plus maze) and depression-related behavior (sucrose preference test), and voluntary consumption of morphine using a two-bottle choice paradigm, in morphine-dependent and morphine-withdrawn rats. The results showed that EE decreased naloxone-precipitated withdrawal signs, but not anxiety or sucrose preference during dependence on morphine. The EE-withdrawn rats showed an increase in the elevated plus maze open arm time and entries and higher levels of sucrose preference than SE rats. Voluntary consumption of morphine was lower in the EE-withdrawn rats than in the SE groups in the second period of drug intake. Thus, exposure to EE reduced the severity of morphine dependence and voluntary consumption of morphine, alongside reductions in anxiety and depression-related behavior in morphine-withdrawn rats.

  13. Re-measurement of the 33S(α ,p )36Cl cross section for early solar system nuclide enrichment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Tyler; Skulski, Michael; Clark, Adam; Nelson, Austin; Ostdiek, Karen; Collon, Philippe; Chmiel, Greg; Woodruff, Tom; Caffee, Marc

    2017-07-01

    Short-lived radionuclides (SLRs) with half-lives less than 100 Myr are known to have existed around the time of the formation of the solar system around 4.5 billion years ago. Understanding the production sources for SLRs is important for improving our understanding of processes taking place just after solar system formation as well as their timescales. Early solar system models rely heavily on calculations from nuclear theory due to a lack of experimental data for the nuclear reactions taking place. In 2013, Bowers et al. measured 36Cl production cross sections via the 33S(α ,p ) reaction and reported cross sections that were systematically higher than predicted by Hauser-Feshbach codes. Soon after, a paper by Peter Mohr highlighted the challenges the new data would pose to current nuclear theory if verified. The 33S(α ,p )36Cl reaction was re-measured at five energies between 0.78 MeV/nucleon and 1.52 MeV/nucleon, in the same range as measured by Bowers et al., and found systematically lower cross sections than originally reported, with the new results in good agreement with the Hauser-Feshbach code talys. Loss of Cl carrier in chemical extraction and errors in determination of reaction energy ranges are both possible explanations for artificially inflated cross sections measured in the previous work.

  14. Enrichment, geo-accumulation and risk surveillance of toxic metals for different environmental compartments from Mehmood Booti dumping site, Lahore city, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Aiman, Umme; Mahmood, Adeel; Waheed, Sidra; Malik, Riffat Naseem

    2016-02-01

    The present study was designed to probe the levels of heavy metals (Cd, Pb, Cr, Mn, Cu, Ni, Zn and Fe) for different environmental matrices (ground water, wastewater, sediment, soil, dust and leachates). Impact of solid waste dumping site on nearby human population has also been assessed. The results revealed that concentration of Pb, Fe, Cd, Mn and Cu surpassed the permissible limits of World Health Organization (WHO) and US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in water, soil, sediments, while aforesaid metals in wastewater were above the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS). Our results for enrichment factor (EF) and geo-accumulation (I(geo)) values revealed that soils and sediments were contaminated with Cd, Pb, Ni and Mn. The Cd content caused a considerably high potential ecological risk (E(r)(i) ≥ 320) in soil and sediments. Pb and Cd caused high health risk (HR > 1) to local residents via dust and drinking water intake. Potential cancer risk for Pb was higher than USEPA standard values (1.0E-06-1.0E-04) through water intake. The Mehmood Booti dumping site is a potential source of toxic pollutants contamination to the surrounding population. It is recommended to take proper actions for its management to resolve this issue. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Callous-unemotional behaviors in early childhood: Genetic and environmental contributions to stability and change.

    PubMed

    Flom, Megan; Saudino, Kimberly J

    2017-10-01

    Callous-unemotional (CU) behaviors demonstrate meaningful individual differences in early childhood, even in nonclinical samples with low mean levels of CU, but the factors underlying this variation have not been examined. This study investigated genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences and to sources of continuity and change in CU in toddler twins (145 monozygotic, 169 dizygotic) assessed at ages 2 and 3 years. CU, as assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist 1.5-5 (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000), was moderately stable across age (r = .45, p < .0001). Longitudinal biometric analyses revealed genetic and nonshared environmental influences on CU at both ages, with no significant contribution from shared environmental factors. Stability from age 2 to 3 was due to genetic factors, whereas change was due to both genetic and nonshared environmental influences. This genetic and nonshared environmental change was substantial, suggesting malleability of CU in early childhood. Over 50% of the genetic influences and 100% of the nonshared environmental influences on CU at age 3 were independent of those that operated at age 2. Implications of novel sources of variance across age are discussed.

  16. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Affiliation with Deviant Peers during Adolescence and Early Adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Tarantino, Nicholas; Tully, Erin C.; Garcia, Sarah E.; South, Susan; Iacono, William G.; McGue, Matt

    2014-01-01

    Adolescence and early adulthood is a time when peer groups become increasingly influential in the lives of young people. Youth exposed to deviant peers risk susceptibility to externalizing behaviors and related psychopathology. In addition to environmental correlates of deviant peer affiliation, a growing body of evidence suggests that affiliation with deviant peers is heritable. This study examined the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences on affiliation with deviant peers, changes in the relative importance of these factors, and which of these factors contribute to the stability of affiliation across this critical developmental period using a longitudinal twin study design that assessed same-sex twins (485 monozygotic pairs, 271 dizygotic pairs) at three discrete ages-15-, 18-, and 21-years-old. Biometric models revealed that genetic influences increased with age. New genetic influences appeared during late adolescence, and no new genetic influences emerged by age 21. Environmental influences shared by sibling pairs decreased with age, while the proportion of nonshared environmental effects unique to each individual remained relatively stable over the course of development. Shared environmental influences were largely age-overlapping whereas nonshared environmental influences were largely age-specific. In summary, this study found variance in affiliation with deviant peers is explained by shared and nonshared environment effects as well as by genetic influences (46% by age 21), supporting the role of genetically influenced selection factors. The shared environment was almost exclusively responsible for the stability in late adolescence, while genetic influences were primarily responsible for stability in early adulthood. PMID:24015689

  17. Enrichment of rare earth elements as environmental tracers of contamination by acid mine drainage in salt marshes: a new perspective.

    PubMed

    Delgado, Joaquín; Pérez-López, Rafael; Galván, Laura; Nieto, José Miguel; Boski, Tomasz

    2012-09-01

    Rare earth elements (REE) were analyzed in surface sediments from the Guadiana Estuary (SW Iberian Pyrite Belt). NASC (North American Shale Composite) normalized REE patterns show clearly convex curvatures in middle-REE (MREE) with respect to light- and heavy-REE, indicating acid-mixing processes between fluvial waters affected by acid mine drainage (AMD) and seawater. However, REE distributions in the mouth (closer to the coastal area) show slightly LREE-enriched and flat patterns, indicating saline-mixing processes typical of the coastal zone. NASC-normalized ratios (La/Gd and La/Yb) do not discriminate between both mixing processes in the estuary. Instead, a new parameter (E(MREE)) has been applied to measure the curvature in the MREE segment. The values of E(MREE)>0 are indicative of acid signatures and their spatial distribution reveal the existence of two decantation zones from flocculation processes related to drought periods and flood events. Studying REE fractionation through the E(MREE) may serve as a good proxy for AMD-pollution in estuarine environments in relation to the traditional methods. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Combined Treatment With Environmental Enrichment and (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Ameliorates Learning Deficits and Hippocampal Alterations in a Mouse Model of Down Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Catuara-Solarz, Silvina; Espinosa-Carrasco, Jose; Erb, Ionas; Langohr, Klaus; Gonzalez, Juan Ramon; Notredame, Cedric; Dierssen, Mara

    2016-01-01

    Intellectual disability in Down syndrome (DS) is accompanied by altered neuro-architecture, deficient synaptic plasticity, and excitation-inhibition imbalance in critical brain regions for learning and memory. Recently, we have demonstrated beneficial effects of a combined treatment with green tea extract containing (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and cognitive stimulation in young adult DS individuals. Although we could reproduce the cognitive-enhancing effects in mouse models, the underlying mechanisms of these beneficial effects are unknown. Here, we explored the effects of a combined therapy with environmental enrichment (EE) and EGCG in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS at young age. Our results show that combined EE-EGCG treatment improved corticohippocampal-dependent learning and memory. Cognitive improvements were accompanied by a rescue of cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) dendritic spine density and a normalization of the proportion of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic markers in CA1 and dentate gyrus.

  19. The development of repetitive motor behaviors in deer mice: Effects of environmental enrichment, repeated testing, and differential mediation by indirect basal ganglia pathway activation

    PubMed Central

    Bechard, Allison R.; Bliznyuk, Nikolay; Lewis, Mark H.

    2017-01-01

    Little is known about the mechanisms mediating the development of repetitive behaviors in human or animals. Deer mice reared with environmental enrichment (EE) exhibit fewer repetitive behaviors and greater indirect basal ganglia pathway activation as adults than those reared in standard cages. The developmental progression of these behavioral and neural circuitry changes has not been characterized. We assessed the development of repetitive behavior in deer mice using both a longitudinal and cohort design. Repeated testing negated the expected effect of EE, but cohort analyses showed that progression of repetitive behavior was arrested after one week of EE and differed significantly from controls after 3 weeks. Moreover, EE reductions in repetitive behavior were associated with increasing activation of indirect pathway nuclei in males across adolescence, but not females. These findings provide the first assessment of developmental trajectories within EE and support indirect pathway mediation of repetitive behavior in male deer mice. PMID:28181216

  20. Combined Treatment With Environmental Enrichment and (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Ameliorates Learning Deficits and Hippocampal Alterations in a Mouse Model of Down Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Juan Ramon; Notredame, Cedric

    2016-01-01

    Intellectual disability in Down syndrome (DS) is accompanied by altered neuro-architecture, deficient synaptic plasticity, and excitation-inhibition imbalance in critical brain regions for learning and memory. Recently, we have demonstrated beneficial effects of a combined treatment with green tea extract containing (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and cognitive stimulation in young adult DS individuals. Although we could reproduce the cognitive-enhancing effects in mouse models, the underlying mechanisms of these beneficial effects are unknown. Here, we explored the effects of a combined therapy with environmental enrichment (EE) and EGCG in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS at young age. Our results show that combined EE-EGCG treatment improved corticohippocampal-dependent learning and memory. Cognitive improvements were accompanied by a rescue of cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) dendritic spine density and a normalization of the proportion of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic markers in CA1 and dentate gyrus. PMID:27844057

  1. Early life influences on emotional reactivity: evidence that social enrichment has greater effects than handling on anxiety-like behaviors, neuroendocrine responses to stress and central BDNF levels.

    PubMed

    Cirulli, Francesca; Berry, Alessandra; Bonsignore, Luca Tommaso; Capone, Francesca; D'Andrea, Ivana; Aloe, Luigi; Branchi, Igor; Alleva, Enrico

    2010-05-01

    During the early post-natal phases the brain is experience-seeking and provided by a considerable plasticity which allows a fine tuning between the external environment and the developing organism. Since the early work of Seymour Levine, an impressive amount of research has clearly shown that stressful experiences exert powerful effects on the brain and body development. These effects can last throughout the entire life span influencing brain function and increasing the risk for depression and anxiety disorders. The mechanisms underlying the effects of early stress on the developing organism have been widely studied in rodents through experimental manipulations of the post-natal environment, such as handling, which have been shown to exert important effects on the emotional phenotype and the response to stress. In the present paper we review the relevant literature and present some original data indicating that, compared to handling, which imposes an external manipulation on the mother-infant relationship, social enrichment, in the form of communal rearing, in mice has very profound effects on animal's emotionality and the response to stress. These effects are also accompanied by important changes in central levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. The present data indicate that communal rearing has more pervasive effects than handling, strengthening previous data suggesting that it is a good animal model of reduced susceptibility to depression-like behavior. Overall, the availability of ever more sophisticated animal models represents a fundamental tool to translate basic research data into appropriate interventions for humans raised under traumatic or impoverished situations. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Life-long environmental enrichment counteracts spatial learning, reference and working memory deficits in middle-aged rats subjected to perinatal asphyxia

    PubMed Central

    Galeano, Pablo; Blanco, Eduardo; Logica Tornatore, Tamara M. A.; Romero, Juan I.; Holubiec, Mariana I.; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Capani, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Continuous environmental stimulation induced by exposure to enriched environment (EE) has yielded cognitive benefits in different models of brain injury. Perinatal asphyxia results from a lack of oxygen supply to the fetus and is associated with long-lasting neurological deficits. However, the effects of EE in middle-aged rats suffering perinatal asphyxia are unknown. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess whether life-long exposure to EE could counteract the cognitive and behavioral alterations in middle-aged asphyctic rats. Experimental groups consisted of rats born vaginally (CTL), by cesarean section (C+), or by C+ following 19 min of asphyxia at birth (PA). At weaning, rats were assigned to standard (SE) or enriched environment (EE) for 18 months. During the last month of housing, animals were submitted to a behavioral test battery including Elevated Plus Maze, Open Field, Novel Object Recognition and Morris water maze (MWM). Results showed that middle-aged asphyctic rats, reared in SE, exhibited an impaired performance in the spatial reference and working memory versions of the MWM. EE was able to counteract these cognitive impairments. Moreover, EE improved the spatial learning performance of middle-aged CTL and C+ rats. On the other hand, all groups reared in SE did not differ in locomotor activity and anxiety levels, while EE reduced locomotion and anxiety, regardless of birth condition. Recognition memory was altered neither by birth condition nor by housing environment. These results support the importance of environmental stimulation across the lifespan to prevent cognitive deficits induced by perinatal asphyxia. PMID:25601829

  3. The effects of environmental conditions on the enrichment of antibiotics on microplastics in simulated natural water column.

    PubMed

    Shen, Xian-Cheng; Li, De-Chang; Sima, Xiao-Feng; Cheng, Hui-Yuan; Jiang, Hong

    2018-06-20

    Concerns regarding the release of microplastics (MPs) into the environment led us to explore the relationship between the different environmental factors and physicochemical properties of MPs, as well as the change of interaction between MPs and organic pollutants. In this study, the effects of environmental factors (ageing conditions), such as pH, temperature, ionic strength, ageing time, and humic acid (HA) concentration, on the characteristics of MPs and their adsorption toward tetracycline (TC) were systematically investigated. The results showed that ageing factors such as pH, ionic strength, and temperature were found to have little impact on the adsorptive capacity of MPs for TC. However, MPs aged in HA solution exhibited a significant decreased adsorptive capacity for TC. HA, which has numerous functional groups, can cover the surface of MPs and change their hydrophobicity, thereby reducing the adsorption affinity to TC. The electrostatic repulsion between adsorbed HA and TC molecules may also decrease the adsorption of TC. In addition, the competing effect of HA for adsorption sites on the surface of MPs further reduces the adsorption of TC. The data presented in this work provide useful information for understanding the transfer of antibiotics by aged MPs, which is of fundamental importance to assess the environmental impact of MPs. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Toward a Model for Early Childhood Environmental Education: Foregrounding, Developing, and Connecting Knowledge through Play-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cutter-Mackenzie, Amy; Edwards, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Environmental education represents a growing area of interest in early childhood education, especially since the inclusion of environmental principles and practices in the Australian Early Years Learning Framework. Traditionally, these two fields of education have been characterized by diverse pedagogical emphases. This article considers how…

  5. External-environmental and internal-health early life predictors of adolescent development.

    PubMed

    Hartman, Sarah; Li, Zhi; Nettle, Daniel; Belsky, Jay

    2017-12-01

    A wealth of evidence documents associations between various aspects of the rearing environment and later development. Two evolutionary-inspired models advance explanations for why and how such early experiences shape later functioning: (a) the external-prediction model, which highlights the role of the early environment (e.g., parenting) in regulating children's development, and (b) the internal-prediction model, which emphasizes internal state (i.e., health) as the critical regulator. Thus, by using data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, the current project draws from both models by investigating whether the effect of the early environment on later adolescent functioning is subject to an indirect effect by internal-health variables. Results showed a significant indirect effect of internal health on the relation between the early environment and adolescent behavior. Specifically, early environmental adversity during the first 5 years of life predicted lower quality health during childhood, which then led to problematic adolescent functioning and earlier age of menarche for girls. In addition, for girls, early adversity predicted lower quality health that forecasted earlier age of menarche leading to increased adolescent risk taking. The discussion highlights the importance of integrating both internal and external models to further understand the developmental processes that effect adolescent behavior.

  6. Longitudinal stability of cognitive ability from infancy to early childhood: genetic and environmental etiologies.

    PubMed

    LaBuda, M C; DeFries, J C; Plomin, R; Fulker, D W

    1986-10-01

    A path model of genetic and shared family environmental transmission was fitted to general cognitive ability data from 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old adopted and nonadopted children and their parents in order to assess the etiology of longitudinal stability from infancy to early childhood. Stability across years is moderate and is due mainly to influences not predicted by parental IQ. Results of the present study, in conjunction with those of previous twin studies, suggest substantial genetic stability from infancy and early childhood to adulthood.

  7. Environmental change during the Late Berriasian - Early Valanginian: a prelude to the late Early Valanginian carbon-isotope event?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales, Chloé; Schnyder, Johann; Spangenberg, Jorge; Adatte, Thierry; Westermann, Stephane; Föllmi, Karl

    2010-05-01

    -746. F^llmi, K.B., Bodin, S., Godet, A., Linder, P. and Van de Schootbrugge, B. (2007). "Unlocking paleo-environmental information from Early Cretaceous shelf sediments in the Helvetic Alps: stratigraphy is the key!" Swiss j. geosci. 100: 349-369. Gr^cke, D.R., Price, G.D., Robinson, S.A., Baraboshkin, E.Y., Mutterlose, J. and Ruffell, A.H. (2005). "The Upper Valanginian (Early Cretaceous) positive carbon-isotope event recorded in terrestrial plants." Earth and Planetary Science Letters 240(2): 495-509. Hallam, A., Grose, J.A. and Ruffell, A.H. (1991). "Palaeoclimatic significance of changes in clay mineralogy across the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary in England and France." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 81(3-4): 173-187. Hennig, S. (2003). Geochemical and sedimentological evidence for environmental changes in the Valanginian (Early Cretaceous) of the Tethys region, ETH Zurich: 189. Ogg, J.G., Ogg, G., Gradstein, F.M., 2008. The concise geological time scale. Cambridge University Press. 177 pp. Reboulet, S., Mattioli, E., Pittet, B., Baudin, F., Olivero, D. and Proux, O. (2003). "Ammonoid and nannoplankton abundance in Valanginian (early Cretaceous) limestone-marl successions from the southeast France Basin: carbonate dilution or productivity?" Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 201(1-2): 113-139. Schnyder, J., Baudin, F. and Deconinck, J.-F. (2009). "Occurrence of organic-matter-rich beds in Early Cretaceous coastal evaporitic setting (Dorset, UK): a link to long-term palaeoclimate changes?" Cretaceous Research 30: 356-366. Van de Schootbrugge, B., Kuhn, O., Adatte, T., Steinmann, P. and F^llmi, K. (2003). "Decoupling of P- and Corg-burial following Early Cretaceous (Valanginian-Hauterivian) platform drowning along the NW Tethyan margin." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 199(3-4): 315-331. Westermann, S., F^llmi, K.B., Adatte, T., Matera, V., Schnyder, J., Fleitmann, D., Fiet, N., Ploch, I. and Duchamp-Alphonse, S. "The

  8. Environmental and Biological Data of the Nutrient Enrichment Effects on Stream Ecosystems Project of the National Water Quality Assessment Program, 2003-04

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brightbill, Robin A.; Munn, Mark D.

    2008-01-01

    In 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began the process of developing regional nutrient criteria for streams and rivers. In response to concerns about nutrients by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others, the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment Program began studying the effects of nutrient enrichment on agricultural stream ecosystems to aid in the understanding of how nutrients affect the biota in agricultural streams. Streams within five study areas were sampled either in 2003 or 2004. These five study areas were located within six NAWQA study units: the combined Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin (ACFB) and Georgia-Florida Coastal Plain Drainages (GAFL), Central Columbia Plateau?Yakima River Basin (CCYK), Central Nebraska Basins (CNBR), Potomac River?Delmarva Peninsula (PODL), and the White-Miami River Basin (WHMI). Data collected included nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) and other chemical parameters, biological samples (chlorophyll, algal assemblages, invertebrate assemblages, and some fish assemblages), stream habitat, and riparian and basin information. This report describes and presents the data collected from these study areas.

  9. Critical evaluation and comparison of enrichment efficiency of multi-walled carbon nanotubes, C18 silica and activated carbon towards some pesticides from environmental waters.

    PubMed

    El-Sheikh, Amjad H; Sweileh, Jamal A; Al-Degs, Yahya S; Insisi, Ahmad A; Al-Rabady, Nancy

    2008-02-15

    In this work, optimization of multi-residue solid phase extraction (SPE) procedures coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography for the determination of Propoxur, Atrazine and Methidathion from environmental waters is reported. Three different sorbents were used in this work: multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), C18 silica and activated carbon (AC). The three optimized SPE procedures were compared in terms of analytical performance, application to environmental waters, cartridge re-use, adsorption capacity and cost of adsorbent. Although the adsorption capacity of MWCNT was larger than AC and C18, however, the analytical performance of AC could be made close to the other sorbents by appropriate optimization of the SPE procedures. A sample of AC was then oxidized with various oxidizing agents to show that ACs of various surface properties has different enrichment efficiencies. Thus researchers are advised to try AC of various surface properties in SPE of pollutants prior to using expensive sorbents (such as MWCNT and C18 silica).

  10. The genetic-environmental etiology of cognitive school readiness and later academic achievement in early childhood.

    PubMed

    Lemelin, Jean-Pascal; Boivin, Michel; Forget-Dubois, Nadine; Dionne, Ginette; Séguin, Jean R; Brendgen, Mara; Vitaro, Frank; Tremblay, Richard E; Pérusse, Daniel

    2007-01-01

    Using a genetic design of 840 60-month-old twins, this study investigated the genetic and environmental contributions to (a) individual differences in four components of cognitive school readiness, (b) the general ability underlying these four components, and (c) the predictive association between school readiness and school achievement. Results revealed that the contribution of the shared environment for cognitive school readiness was substantial. Genetic effects were more important for the core abilities underlying school readiness than for each specific skill, although shared environment remained the largest factor overall. Genetic, shared, and nonshared environmental factors all accounted for the predictive association between school readiness and early school achievement. These results contribute to a better understanding of the early determinants of school readiness.

  11. Effect of Environmental Enrichment on Aggression in BALB/cJ and BALB/cByJ Mice Monitored by Using an Automated System.

    PubMed

    Giles, Jareca M; Whitaker, Julia W; Moy, Sheryl S; Fletcher, Craig A

    2018-04-18

    Aggression among mice remains a common undesirable problem in laboratory settings, and animal welfare and scientific outcomes may become compromised depending on the severity of aggression. This study evaluated the effect of cage enrichment comprising a bilevel, mounted 'mezzanine' compared with a cotton square or shelter on intracage male aggression over a 6-wk period. Our first study involved home-cage behavioral challenges to male mice from a high aggression substrain (BALB/cJ) and low-aggression substrain (BALB/cByJ). Aggressive interactions and locomotor activity were scored manually and then compared with measures of activity obtained by using a continuous automated home-cagemonitoring system, the Digital Ventilated Caging (DVC) system. BALB/cJ mice exhibited similar levels of aggression acrosshousing conditions, whereas BALB/cByJ mice had lower aggression when housed with a mezzanine. In the second study,videorecordings and continuous DVC automated measures were collected over 24 h and divided into 12-h light and dark phases. BALB/cByJ mice-but not BALB/cJ-mice had increased aggressive behaviors during the dark phase. However, the DVC detected higher activity levels during the dark phase, compared with the light phase, in both substrains. Elevated activity levels recorded by the DVC correlated with fighting bouts and high levels of locomotion. These results show that a bilevel structural form of enrichment reduces aggression, depending on the BALB/c substrain, and confirms higher aggression levels in the BALB/cJ substrain. In addition, our findings provide evidence that the DVC is effective in identifying mouse cages with patterns of high activity levels, signaling possible aggression incidences, thus potentially allowing for early intervention and consequently improving animal welfare.

  12. A review on neuroimaging studies of genetic and environmental influences on early brain development.

    PubMed

    Gao, Wei; Grewen, Karen; Knickmeyer, Rebecca C; Qiu, Anqi; Salzwedel, Andrew; Lin, Weili; Gilmore, John H

    2018-04-16

    The past decades witnessed a surge of interest in neuroimaging study of normal and abnormal early brain development. Structural and functional studies of normal early brain development revealed massive structural maturation as well as sequential, coordinated, and hierarchical emergence of functional networks during the infancy period, providing a great foundation for the investigation of abnormal early brain development mechanisms. Indeed, studies of altered brain development associated with either genetic or environmental risks emerged and thrived. In this paper, we will review selected studies of genetic and environmental risks that have been relatively more extensively investigated-familial risks, candidate risk genes, and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on the genetic side; maternal mood disorders and prenatal drug exposures on the environmental side. Emerging studies on environment-gene interactions will also be reviewed. Our goal was not to perform an exhaustive review of all studies in the field but to leverage some representative ones to summarize the current state, point out potential limitations, and elicit discussions on important future directions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. [Environmental and genetic variables related with alterations in language acquisition in early childhood].

    PubMed

    Moriano-Gutierrez, A; Colomer-Revuelta, J; Sanjuan, J; Carot-Sierra, J M

    2017-01-01

    A great deal of research has addressed problems in the correct acquisition of language, but with few overall conclusions. The reasons for this lie in the individual variability, the existence of different measures for assessing language and the fact that a complex network of genetic and environmental factors are involved in its development. To review the environmental and genetic variables that have been studied to date, in order to gain a better under-standing of the causes of specific language impairment and create new evidence that can help in the development of screening systems for the early detection of these disorders. The environmental variables related with poorer early child language development include male gender, low level of education of the mother, familial history of problems with language or psychiatric problems, perinatal problems and health problems in early childhood. Bilingualism seems to be a protective factor. Temperament and language are related. Within the genetic factors there are several specific genes associated with language, two of which have a greater influence on its physiological acquisition: FOXP2 and CNTNAP2. The other genes that are most related with specific language disorders are ATP2C2, CMIP, ROBO2, ZNF277 and NOP9. The key to comprehending the development of specific language disorders lies in reaching an understanding of the true role played by genes in the ontogenesis, in the regulation of the different developmental processes, and how this role is modulated by the environment.

  14. Early Life Origins of Metabolic Syndrome: The Role of Environmental Toxicants

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guoying; Chen, Zhu; Bartell, Tami; Wang, Xiaobin

    2014-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS) affects more than 47 million people in the U.S. Even more alarming, MetS, once regarded as an “adult problem”, has become increasingly common in children. To date, most related research and intervention efforts have occurred in the adult medicine arena, with limited understanding of the root causes and lengthy latency of MetS. This review highlights new science on the early life origins of MetS, with a particular focus on exposure to two groups of environmental toxicants: endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and metals during the prenatal and early postnatal periods, and their specific effects and important differences in the development of MetS. It also summarizes available data on epigenetic effects, including the role of EDCs in the androgen/estrogen pathways. Emerging evidence supports the link between exposures to environmental toxicants during early life and the development of MetS later in life. Additional research is needed to address important research gaps in this area, including prospective birth cohort studies to delineate temporal and dose-response relationships, important differences in the effects of various environmental toxicants and their joint effects on MetS, as well as epigenetic mechanisms underlying the effects of specific toxicants such as EDCs and metals. PMID:24883264

  15. RNA-Sequencing Reveals Unique Transcriptional Signatures of Running and Running-Independent Environmental Enrichment in the Adult Mouse Dentate Gyrus.

    PubMed

    Grégoire, Catherine-Alexandra; Tobin, Stephanie; Goldenstein, Brianna L; Samarut, Éric; Leclerc, Andréanne; Aumont, Anne; Drapeau, Pierre; Fulton, Stephanie; Fernandes, Karl J L

    2018-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is a powerful stimulus of brain plasticity and is among the most accessible treatment options for brain disease. In rodents, EE is modeled using multi-factorial environments that include running, social interactions, and/or complex surroundings. Here, we show that running and running-independent EE differentially affect the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG), a brain region critical for learning and memory. Outbred male CD1 mice housed individually with a voluntary running disk showed improved spatial memory in the radial arm maze compared to individually- or socially-housed mice with a locked disk. We therefore used RNA sequencing to perform an unbiased interrogation of DG gene expression in mice exposed to either a voluntary running disk (RUN), a locked disk (LD), or a locked disk plus social enrichment and tunnels [i.e., a running-independent complex environment (CE)]. RNA sequencing revealed that RUN and CE mice showed distinct, non-overlapping patterns of transcriptomic changes versus the LD control. Bio-informatics uncovered that the RUN and CE environments modulate separate transcriptional networks, biological processes, cellular compartments and molecular pathways, with RUN preferentially regulating synaptic and growth-related pathways and CE altering extracellular matrix-related functions. Within the RUN group, high-distance runners also showed selective stress pathway alterations that correlated with a drastic decline in overall transcriptional changes, suggesting that excess running causes a stress-induced suppression of running's genetic effects. Our findings reveal stimulus-dependent transcriptional signatures of EE on the DG, and provide a resource for generating unbiased, data-driven hypotheses for novel mediators of EE-induced cognitive changes.

  16. Effects of environmental enrichment on anxiety-like behavior, sociability, sensory gating, and spatial learning in male and female C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Hendershott, Taylor R; Cronin, Marie E; Langella, Stephanie; McGuinness, Patrick S; Basu, Alo C

    2016-11-01

    The influence of housing on cognition and emotional regulation in mice presents a problem for the study of genetic and environmental risk factors for neuropsychiatric disorders: standard laboratory housing may result in low levels of cognitive function or altered levels of anxiety that leave little room for assessment of deleterious effects of experimental manipulations. The use of enriched environment (EE) may allow for the measurement of a wider range of performance in cognitive domains. Cognitive and behavioral effects of EE in male mice have not been widely reproduced, perhaps due to variability in the application of enrichment protocols, and the effects of EE in female mice have not been widely studied. We have developed an EE protocol using common laboratory equipment that, without a running wheel for exercise, results in significant cognitive and behavioral effects relative to standard laboratory housing conditions. We compared male and female wild-type C57BL/6J mice reared from weaning age in an EE to those reared in a standard environment (SE), using common measures of anxiety-like behavior, sensory gating, sociability, and spatial learning and memory. Sex was a significant factor in relevant elevated plus maze (EPM) measures, and bordered on significance in a social interaction (SI) assay. Effects of EE on anxiety-like behavior and sociability were indicative of a general increase in exploratory activity. In male and female mice, EE resulted in reduced prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response, and enhanced spatial learning and use of spatially precise strategies in a Morris water maze task. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Relation between stability and resilience determines the performance of early warning signals under different environmental drivers.

    PubMed

    Dai, Lei; Korolev, Kirill S; Gore, Jeff

    2015-08-11

    Shifting patterns of temporal fluctuations have been found to signal critical transitions in a variety of systems, from ecological communities to human physiology. However, failure of these early warning signals in some systems calls for a better understanding of their limitations. In particular, little is known about the generality of early warning signals in different deteriorating environments. In this study, we characterized how multiple environmental drivers influence the dynamics of laboratory yeast populations, which was previously shown to display alternative stable states [Dai et al., Science, 2012]. We observed that both the coefficient of variation and autocorrelation increased before population collapse in two slowly deteriorating environments, one with a rising death rate and the other one with decreasing nutrient availability. We compared the performance of early warning signals across multiple environments as "indicators for loss of resilience." We find that the varying performance is determined by how a system responds to changes in a specific driver, which can be captured by a relation between stability (recovery rate) and resilience (size of the basin of attraction). Furthermore, we demonstrate that the positive correlation between stability and resilience, as the essential assumption of indicators based on critical slowing down, can break down in this system when multiple environmental drivers are changed simultaneously. Our results suggest that the stability-resilience relation needs to be better understood for the application of early warning signals in different scenarios.

  18. Biomonitoring of human fetal exposure to environmental chemicals in early pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Gerard M

    2014-01-01

    The first trimester of human fetal life, a period of extremely rapid development of physiological systems, represents the most rapid growth phase in human life. Interference in the establishment of organ systems may result in abnormal development that may be manifest immediately or programmed for later abnormal function. Exposure to environmental chemicals may be affecting development at these early stages, and yet there is limited knowledge of the quantities and identities of the chemicals to which the fetus is exposed during early pregnancy. Clearly, opportunities for assessing fetal chemical exposure directly are extremely limited. Hence, this review describes indirect means of assessing fetal exposure in early pregnancy to chemicals that are considered disrupters of development. Consideration is given to such matrices as maternal hair, fingernails, urine, saliva, sweat, breast milk, amniotic fluid and blood, and fetal matrices such as cord blood, cord tissue, meconium, placenta, and fetal liver. More than 150 articles that presented data from chemical analysis of human maternal and fetal tissues and fluids were reviewed. Priority was given to articles where chemical analysis was conducted in more than one matrix. Where correlations between maternal and fetal matrices were determined, these articles were included and are highlighted, as these may provide the basis for future investigations of early fetal exposure. The determination of fetal chemical exposure, at the time of rapid human growth and development, will greatly assist regulatory agencies in risk assessments and establishment of advisories for risk management concerning environmental chemicals.

  19. Relation between stability and resilience determines the performance of early warning signals under different environmental drivers

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Lei; Korolev, Kirill S.; Gore, Jeff

    2015-01-01

    Shifting patterns of temporal fluctuations have been found to signal critical transitions in a variety of systems, from ecological communities to human physiology. However, failure of these early warning signals in some systems calls for a better understanding of their limitations. In particular, little is known about the generality of early warning signals in different deteriorating environments. In this study, we characterized how multiple environmental drivers influence the dynamics of laboratory yeast populations, which was previously shown to display alternative stable states [Dai et al., Science, 2012]. We observed that both the coefficient of variation and autocorrelation increased before population collapse in two slowly deteriorating environments, one with a rising death rate and the other one with decreasing nutrient availability. We compared the performance of early warning signals across multiple environments as “indicators for loss of resilience.” We find that the varying performance is determined by how a system responds to changes in a specific driver, which can be captured by a relation between stability (recovery rate) and resilience (size of the basin of attraction). Furthermore, we demonstrate that the positive correlation between stability and resilience, as the essential assumption of indicators based on critical slowing down, can break down in this system when multiple environmental drivers are changed simultaneously. Our results suggest that the stability–resilience relation needs to be better understood for the application of early warning signals in different scenarios. PMID:26216946

  20. Sensitive trace enrichment of environmental andiandrogen vinclozolin from natural waters and sediment samples using hollow-fiber liquid-phase microextraction.

    PubMed

    Lambropoulou, Dimitra A; Albanis, Triantafyllos A

    2004-12-17

    The presence of vinclozolin in the environment as far as the endocrine disruption effects in biota are concerned has raised interest in the environmental fate of this compound. In this respect, the present study attempts to investigate the feasibility of applying a novel quantitative method, liquid-phase microextraction (LPME), so as to determine this environmental andiandrogen in environmental samples such as water and sediment samples. The technique involved the use of a small amount (3 microL) of organic solvent impregnated in a hollow fiber membrane, which was attached to the needle of a conventional GC syringe. The extracted samples were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with electron-capture detection. Experimental LPME conditions such as extraction solvent, stirring rate, content of NaCl and pH were tested. Once LPME was optimized, the performance of the proposed technique was evaluated for the determination of vinclozolin in different types of natural water samples. The recovery of spiked water samples was from 80 to 99%. The procedure was adequate for quantification of vinclozolin in waters at levels of 0.010 to 50 microg/L (r> 0.994) with a detection limit of 0.001 microg/L (S/N= 3). Natural sediment samples from the Aliakmonas River area (Macedonia, Greece) spiked with the target andiandrogen compound were liquid-liquid extracted and analyzed by the methodology developed in this work. No significant interferences from the samples matrix were noticed, indicating that the reported methodology is an innovative tactic for sample preparation in sediment analysis, with a considerable improvement in the achieved detection limits. The results demonstrated that apart from analyte enrichment, the proposed LPME procedure also serves as clean-up method and could be successfully performed to determine trace amounts of vinclozolin in water and sediment samples.

  1. Genetic and environmental influences on affiliation with deviant peers during adolescence and early adulthood.

    PubMed

    Tarantino, Nicholas; Tully, Erin C; Garcia, Sarah E; South, Susan; Iacono, William G; McGue, Matt

    2014-03-01

    Adolescence and early adulthood is a time when peer groups become increasingly influential in the lives of young people. Youths exposed to deviant peers risk susceptibility to externalizing behaviors and related psychopathology. In addition to environmental correlates of deviant peer affiliation, a growing body of evidence has suggested that affiliation with deviant peers is heritable. This study examined the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences on affiliation with deviant peers, changes in the relative importance of these factors, and which of these factors contribute to the stability of affiliation across this critical developmental period using a longitudinal twin study design that assessed same-sex twins (485 monozygotic pairs, 271 dizygotic pairs) at 3 discrete ages: 15, 18, and 21 years of age. Biometric models revealed that genetic influences increased with age. New genetic influences appeared during late adolescence, and no new genetic influences emerged by age 21. Environmental influences shared by sibling pairs decreased with age, while the proportion of nonshared environmental effects unique to each individual remained relatively stable over the course of development. Shared environmental influences were largely age-overlapping, whereas nonshared environmental influences were largely age-specific. In summary, this study found variance in affiliation with deviant peers is explained by shared and nonshared environment effects as well as by genetic influences (46% by age 21), supporting the role of genetically influenced selection factors. The shared environment was almost exclusively responsible for the stability in late adolescence, while genetic influences were primarily responsible for stability in early adulthood. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  2. Enrichment in the Sucker and Weaner Phase Altered the Performance of Pigs in Three Behavioural Tests

    PubMed Central

    Ralph, Cameron; Hebart, Michelle

    2018-01-01

    Simple Summary Two important questions about the intensive housing of pigs concern whether young pigs require environmental enrichment to enhance their welfare, and from what age should enrichment be provided to pigs to achieve the benefit? We provided sucker and weaner pigs with enrichment in the form of blocks, which they could push around the floor of the pen, compared to no blocks (‘barren’ control). Behavioural and physiological responses of the pigs were then measured in a series of standard tests used to assess fear response, learning, and cognitive ability. Enrichment blocks modified the behavioural responses of pigs in the different tests, suggesting enriched pigs were more willing to explore novel environments and they had increased ability to learn. However, our enrichment treatment did not alter the pigs’ cortisol response, suggesting any differences due to enrichment were subtle. In contrast, the altered behavioural responses probably indicate that although pigs readily learned complex tasks and modify their behaviour to suit the current situation, there may be some potential benefits from enrichment when applied during the early weeks of a pig’s life that might have life-long benefits for the animal and its welfare. Abstract We tested the hypothesis that provision of enrichment in the form of enrichment blocks during the sucker and weaner phases would affect the behaviour of pigs. We measured the performance of pigs in an open field/novel object test, a maze test, an executive function test and the cortisol response of the pigs after exposure to an open field test. The provision of enrichment blocks altered the behaviour of the pigs in all three tests and these changes suggest an increased willingness to explore and possibly an increased ability to learn. The behavioural tests highlighted that young pigs have the capacity to learn complex tasks. Our findings support the notion that the benefits of enrichment cannot be evaluated by measuring

  3. Effects of chronic iTBS-rTMS and enriched environment on visual cortex early critical period and visual pattern discrimination in dark-reared rats.

    PubMed

    Castillo-Padilla, Diana V; Funke, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Early cortical critical period resembles a state of enhanced neuronal plasticity enabling the establishment of specific neuronal connections during first sensory experience. Visual performance with regard to pattern discrimination is impaired if the cortex is deprived from visual input during the critical period. We wondered how unspecific activation of the visual cortex before closure of the critical period using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) could affect the critical period and the visual performance of the experimental animals. Would it cause premature closure of the plastic state and thus worsen experience-dependent visual performance, or would it be able to preserve plasticity? Effects of intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) were compared with those of an enriched environment (EE) during dark-rearing (DR) from birth. Rats dark-reared in a standard cage showed poor improvement in a visual pattern discrimination task, while rats housed in EE or treated with iTBS showed a performance indistinguishable from rats reared in normal light/dark cycle. The behavioral effects were accompanied by correlated changes in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and atypical PKC (PKCζ/PKMζ), two factors controlling stabilization of synaptic potentiation. It appears that not only nonvisual sensory activity and exercise but also cortical activation induced by rTMS has the potential to alleviate the effects of DR on cortical development, most likely due to stimulation of BDNF synthesis and release. As we showed previously, iTBS reduced the expression of parvalbumin in inhibitory cortical interneurons, indicating that modulation of the activity of fast-spiking interneurons contributes to the observed effects of iTBS. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Disruptive behaviour disorders: a systematic review of environmental antenatal and early years risk factors.

    PubMed

    Latimer, K; Wilson, P; Kemp, J; Thompson, L; Sim, F; Gillberg, C; Puckering, C; Minnis, H

    2012-09-01

    Disruptive behaviour disorders (DBDs), including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) are chronic disorders with significant overlap in aetiology and presentation. An integrative examination of environmental risk factors is lacking. Six literature searches of web-based bibliographic databases were completed to identify literature on DBDs in general and five disorders in particular: CD, ODD, ADHD, deficits of attention, motor control and perception, and reactive attachment disorder. Searches were filtered to focus on studies including diagnostic assessment, focussing on environmental risk and protective factors in the first 4 years of life. The database searches generated 9806 papers of which 47 were reviewed after filters had been applied. The evidence suggests links between a number of early life risk factors and DBDs, including prenatal cigarette smoking and alcohol use, prenatal viral illness, maternal stress and anxiety, low birthweight, peri-partum and early neonatal complications, parental stress and parenting styles in infancy, early deprivation, adoption and separation. Despite the understanding that there is sharing of risk factors between the DBDs, there has been a disproportionate focus on the role of certain risk factors at the expense of others and the field is weakened by difficulties in controlling for all potential confounding variables. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. Genetic and environmental influences on early literacy skills across school grade contexts.

    PubMed

    Haughbrook, Rasheda; Hart, Sara A; Schatschneider, Christopher; Taylor, Jeanette

    2017-09-01

    Recent research suggests that the etiology of reading achievement can differ across environmental contexts. In the US, schools are commonly assigned grades (e.g. 'A', 'B') often interpreted to indicate school quality. This study explored differences in the etiology of early literacy skills for students based on these school grades. Participants included twins drawn from the Florida Twin Project on Reading (n = 1313 pairs) aged 4 to 10 years during the 2006-07 school year. Early literacy skills were assessed with DIBELS subtests: Oral Reading Fluency (ORF), Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF), Initial Sound Fluency (ISF), Letter Naming Fluency (LNF), and Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF). School grade data were retrieved from the Florida Department of Education. Multi-group analyses were conducted separately for subsamples defined by 'A' or 'non-A' schools, controlling for school-level socioeconomic status. Results indicated significant etiological differences on pre-reading skills (ISF, LNF, and PSF), but not word-level reading skills (ORF and NWF). There was a consistent trend of greater environmental influences on pre-reading skills in non-A schools, arguably representing 'poorer' environmental contexts than the A schools. Importantly, this is the case outside of resources linked with school-level SES, indicating that something about the direct environment on pre-reading skills in the non-A school context is more variable than for A schools. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. No evidence that environmental enrichment during rearing protects against cocaine behavioral effects but as an intervention reduces an already established cocaine conditioned place preference.

    PubMed

    Galaj, E; Shukur, A; Manuszak, M; Newman, K; Ranaldi, R

    2017-05-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) produces differential effects on psychostimulant-related behaviors. Therefore, we investigated whether the timing of EE exposure - during rearing and before cocaine exposure versus in adulthood and after cocaine exposure might be a determining factor. In Experiment 1, rats reared with EE or not (non-EE) were conditioned with cocaine (5, 10 or 20mg/kg) in one compartment of a CPP apparatus and saline in the other, and later tested for cocaine CPP. In Experiment 2, locomotor activity in response to repeated injections of saline or cocaine was measured in rats raised with EE or non-EE. In Experiment 3 we measured the effects of EE or non-EE during rearing on food-based conditioned approach learning. In Experiment 4, rats were exposed to cocaine CPP conditioning then underwent 60days of EE or non-EE treatment after which they were tested for cocaine CPP. Our results show that rearing in EE did not reduce cocaine CPP or cocaine-induced locomotor activity (Experiments 1 and 2) but significantly facilitated conditioned approach learning (Experiment 3). On the other hand, EE treatment introduced after cocaine conditioning significantly reduced the expression of cocaine CPP (Experiment 4). These findings suggest that EE does not protect against cocaine's rewarding and stimulant effects but can reduce already established cocaine effects, suggesting that EE might be an effective treatment for cocaine addiction-related behaviors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. How does environmental enrichment reduce repetitive motor behaviors? Neuronal activation and dendritic morphology in the indirect basal ganglia pathway of a mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Bechard, Allison R.; Cacodcar, Nadia; King, Michael A.; Lewis, Mark H.

    2015-01-01

    Repetitive motor behaviors are observed in many neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders (e.g. autism spectrum disorders, Tourette syndrome, fronto-temporal dementia). Despite their clinical importance, the neurobiology underlying these highly stereotyped, apparently functionless behaviors is poorly understood. Identification of mechanisms that mediate the development of repetitive behaviors will aid in the discovery of new therapeutic targets and treatment development. Using a deer mouse model, we have shown that decreased indirect basal ganglia pathway activity is associated with high levels of repetitive behavior. Environmental enrichment (EE) markedly attenuates the development of such aberrant behaviors in mice, although mechanisms driving this effect are unknown. We hypothesized that EE would reduce repetitive motor behaviors by increasing indirect basal ganglia pathway function. We assessed neuronal activation and dendritic spine density in basal ganglia of adult deer mice reared in EE and standard housing. Significant increases in neuronal activation and dendritic spine densities were observed only in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and globus pallidus (GP), and only for those mice that exhibited an EE-induced decrease in repetitive motor behavior. As the STN and GP lie within the indirect pathway, these data suggest that EE-induced attenuation of repetitive motor behaviors is associated with increased functional activation of the indirect basal ganglia pathway. These results are consistent with our other findings highlighting the importance of the indirect pathway in mediating repetitive motor behaviors. PMID:26620495

  8. Buffering and Amplifying Interactions among OAW (Ocean Acidification & Warming) and Nutrient Enrichment on Early Life-Stage Fucus vesiculosus L. (Phaeophyceae) and Their Carry Over Effects to Hypoxia Impact.

    PubMed

    Al-Janabi, Balsam; Kruse, Inken; Graiff, Angelika; Winde, Vera; Lenz, Mark; Wahl, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Ocean acidification and warming (OAW) are occurring globally. Additionally, at a more local scale the spreading of hypoxic conditions is promoted by eutrophication and warming. In the semi-enclosed brackish Baltic Sea, occasional upwelling in late summer and autumn may expose even shallow-water communities including the macroalga Fucus vesiculosus to particularly acidified, nutrient-rich and oxygen-poor water bodies. During summer 2014 (July-September) sibling groups of early life-stage F. vesiculosus were exposed to OAW in the presence and absence of enhanced nutrient levels and, subsequently to a single upwelling event in a near-natural scenario which included all environmental fluctuations in the Kiel Fjord, southwestern Baltic Sea, Germany (54°27 ´N, 10°11 ´W). We strove to elucidate the single and combined impacts of these potential stressors, and how stress sensitivity varies among genetically different sibling groups. Enhanced by a circumstantial natural heat wave, warming and acidification increased mortalities and reduced growth in F. vesiculosus germlings. This impact, however, was mitigated by enhanced nutrient conditions. Survival under OAW conditions strongly varied among sibling groups hinting at a substantial adaptive potential of the natural Fucus populations in the Western Baltic. A three-day experimental upwelling caused severe mortality of Fucus germlings, which was substantially more severe in those sibling groups which previously had been exposed to OAW. Our results show that global (OAW), regional (nutrient enrichment) and local pressures (upwelling), both alone and co-occurring may have synergistic and antagonistic effects on survival and/or growth of Fucus germlings. This result emphasizes the need to consider combined stress effects.

  9. A review of environmental risk factors for myopia during early life, childhood and adolescence.

    PubMed

    Ramamurthy, Dharani; Lin Chua, Sharon Yu; Saw, Seang-Mei

    2015-11-01

    Myopia is a significant public health problem worldwide, particularly in East Asian countries. The increasing prevalence of myopia poses a huge socio-economic burden and progressive high myopia can lead to sight-threatening ocular complications. Hence, the prevention of early-onset myopia progressing to pathological high myopia is important. Recent epidemiological studies suggest that increased outdoor time is an important modifiable environmental factor that protects young children from myopia. This protective effect may be due to high light intensity outdoors, the chromaticity of daylight or increased vitamin D levels. This review summarises the possible underlying biological mechanisms for the protective association between time outdoors and myopia, including the potential role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in refractive error development. Recent evidence for the role of other environmental risk factors such as near work, birth seasons, parental smoking and birth order are also summarised. © 2015 Optometry Australia.

  10. Challenges to studying the health effects of early life environmental chemical exposures on children's health.

    PubMed

    Braun, Joseph M; Gray, Kimberly

    2017-12-01

    Epidemiological studies play an important role in quantifying how early life environmental chemical exposures influence the risk of childhood diseases. These studies face at least four major challenges that can produce noise when trying to identify signals of associations between chemical exposure and childhood health. Challenges include accurately estimating chemical exposure, confounding from causes of both exposure and disease, identifying periods of heightened vulnerability to chemical exposures, and determining the effects of chemical mixtures. We provide recommendations that will aid in identifying these signals with more precision.

  11. Early Environmental Field Research Career Exploration: An Analysis of Impacts on Precollege Apprentices

    PubMed Central

    Flowers, Susan K.; Beyer, Katherine M.; Pérez, Maria; Jeffe, Donna B.

    2016-01-01

    Research apprenticeships offer opportunities for deep understanding of scientific practice, transparency about research careers, and possible transformational effects on precollege youth. We examined two consecutive field-based environmental biology apprenticeship programs designed to deliver realistic career exploration and connections to research scientists. The Shaw Institute for Field Training (SIFT) program combines introductory field-skills training with research assistance opportunities, and the subsequent Tyson Environmental Research Fellowships (TERF) program provides immersive internships on university field station–based research teams. In a longitudinal mixed-methods study grounded in social cognitive career theory, changes in youth perspectives were measured during program progression from 10th grade through college, evaluating the efficacy of encouraging career path entry. Results indicate SIFT provided self-knowledge and career perspectives more aligned with reality. During SIFT, differences were found between SIFT-only participants compared with those who progressed to TERF. Transition from educational activities to fieldwork with scientists was a pivotal moment at which data showed decreased or increased interest and confidence. Continuation to TERF provided deeper relationships with role models who gave essential early-career support. Our study indicates the two-stage apprenticeship structure influenced persistence in pursuit of an environmental research career pathway. Recommendations for other precollege environmental career–exploration programs are presented. PMID:27909017

  12. Before They Walk in the Door: Environmental Influences on Musical Ability in Early Childhood and Implications for Nurturing the Nurturers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bond, Vanessa L.

    2011-01-01

    Environmental factors play a role in musical development, particularly in the critical period of early childhood. Children have the capacity to learn in the first days of life, long before entering formal schooling. Music education during this period is consequently the responsibility of parents, caregivers, and early childhood teachers. These…

  13. Maternal Enrichment during Pregnancy Accelerates Retinal Development of the Fetus

    PubMed Central

    Sale, Alessandro; Cenni, Maria Cristina; Ciucci, Francesca; Putignano, Elena; Chierzi, Sabrina; Maffei, Lamberto

    2007-01-01

    The influence of maternal environment on fetal development is largely unexplored, the available evidence concerns only the deleterious effects elicited by prenatal stress. Here we investigated the influence of prenatal enrichment on the early development of the visual system in the fetus. We studied the anatomical development of the rat retina, by analyzing the migration of neural progenitors and the process of retinal ganglion cell death, which exerts a key role in sculpturing the developing retinal system at perinatal ages. The number of apoptotic cells in the retinal ganglion cell layer was analyzed using two distinct methods: the presence of pyknotic nuclei stained for cresyl violet and the appearance of DNA fragmentation (Tunel method). We report that environmental enrichment of the mother during pregnancy affects the structural maturation of the retina, accelerating the migration of neural progenitors and the dynamics of natural cell death. These effects seem to be under the control of insulin-like growth factor-I: its levels, higher in enriched pregnant rats and in their milk, are increased also in their offspring, its neutralization abolishes the action of maternal enrichment on retinal development and chronic insulin-like growth factor-I injection to standard-reared females mimics the effects of enrichment in the fetuses. Thus, the development of the visual system is sensitive to environmental stimulation during prenatal life. These findings could have a bearing in orienting clinical research in the field of prenatal therapy. PMID:18000533

  14. Environmental enrichment facilitates cocaine-cue extinction, deters reacquisition of cocaine self-administration and alters AMPAR GluA1 expression and phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Jamie M; Lin, Amy; Nic Dhonnchadha, Bríd Á; Spealman, Roger D; Man, Heng-Ye; Kantak, Kathleen M

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the combination of environmental enrichment (EE) with cocaine-cue extinction training on reacquisition of cocaine self-administration. Rats were trained under a second-order schedule for which responses were maintained by cocaine injections and cocaine-paired stimuli. During three weekly extinction sessions, saline was substituted for cocaine but cocaine-paired stimuli were presented. Rats received 4-h periods of EE at strategic time points during extinction training, or received NoEE. Additional control rats received EE or NoEE without extinction training. One week later, reacquisition of cocaine self-administration was evaluated for 15 sessions, and then GluA1 expression, a cellular substrate for learning and memory, was measured in selected brain regions. EE provided both 24 h before and immediately after extinction training facilitated extinction learning and deterred reacquisition of cocaine self-administration for up to 13 sessions. Each intervention by itself (EE alone or extinction alone) was ineffective, as was EE scheduled at individual time points (EE 4 h or 24 h before, or EE immediately or 6 h after, each extinction training session). Under these conditions, rats rapidly reacquired baseline rates of cocaine self-administration. Cocaine self-administration alone decreased total GluA1 and/or pSer845GluA1 expression in basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens. Extinction training, with or without EE, opposed these changes and also increased total GluA1 in ventromedial prefrontal cortex and dorsal hippocampus. EE alone increased pSer845GluA1 and EE combined with extinction training decreased pSer845GluA1 in ventromedial prefrontal cortex. EE might be a useful adjunct to extinction therapy by enabling neuroplasticity that deters relapse to cocaine self-administration. © 2015 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  15. Cholinergic and Dopaminergic Alterations in Nigrostriatal Neurons Are Involved in Environmental Enrichment Motor Protection in a Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Hilario, Willyan Franco; Herlinger, Alice Laschuk; Areal, Lorena Bianchine; de Moraes, Lívia Silveira; Ferreira, Tamara Andrea Alarcon; Andrade, Tassiane Emanuelle Servane; Martins-Silva, Cristina; Pires, Rita Gomes Wanderley

    2016-12-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world, being characterized by dopaminergic neurodegeneration of substantia nigra pars compacta. PD pharmacotherapy has been based on dopamine replacement in the striatum with the dopaminergic precursor 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) and/or with dopaminergic agonists, alongside anticholinergic drugs in order to mitigate the motor abnormalities. However, these practices neither prevent nor stop the progression of the disease. Environmental enrichment (EE) has effectively prevented several neurodegenerative processes, mainly in preclinical trials. Several studies have demonstrated that EE induces biological changes, bearing on cognitive enhancement, neuroprotection, and on the attenuation of the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression. Herein, we investigated whether EE could prevent the motor, biochemical, and molecular abnormalities in a murine model of PD induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-2,3-dihydropyridine (MPTP). Our results show that EE does not prevent the dopaminergic striatal depletion induced by MPTP, despite having averted the MPTP-induced hyperlocomotion. However, it was able to slow down and avoid, respectively, the 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) depletion. Analysis of dopaminergic mRNA alterations in the midbrain showed that D1R expression was increased by MPTP, while the normal expression level of this receptor was restored by EE. As for the cholinergic system, MPTP led to a decrease in the ChAT gene expression while increasing the expression of both AChE and M1R. EE attenuated and prevented-respectively-ChAT and M1R gene expression alterations triggered by MPTP in the midbrain. Overall, our data brings new evidence supporting the neuroprotective potential of EE in PD, focusing on the interaction between dopaminergic and cholinergic systems.

  16. Environmental Enrichment Increases Glucocorticoid Receptors and Decreases GluA2 and Protein Kinase M Zeta (PKMζ) Trafficking During Chronic Stress: A Protective Mechanism?

    PubMed Central

    Zanca, Roseanna M.; Braren, Stephen H.; Maloney, Brigid; Schrott, Lisa M.; Luine, Victoria N.; Serrano, Peter A.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) housing paradigms have long been shown beneficial for brain function involving neural growth and activity, learning and memory capacity, and for developing stress resiliency. The expression of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor subunit GluA2, which is important for synaptic plasticity and memory, is increased with corticosterone (CORT), undermining synaptic plasticity and memory. Thus, we determined the effect of EE and stress on modulating GluA2 expression in Sprague-Dawley male rats. Several markers were evaluated which include: plasma CORT, the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), GluA2, and the atypical protein kinase M zeta (PKMζ). For 1 week standard-(ST) or EE-housed animals were treated with one of the following four conditions: (1) no stress; (2) acute stress (forced swim test, FST; on day 7); (3) chronic restraint stress (6 h/day for 7 days); and (4) chronic + acute stress (restraint stress 6 h/day for 7 days + FST on day 7). Hippocampi were collected on day 7. Our results show that EE animals had reduced time immobile on the FST across all conditions. After chronic + acute stress EE animals showed increased GR levels with no change in synaptic GluA2/PKMζ. ST-housed animals showed the reverse pattern with decreased GR levels and a significant increase in synaptic GluA2/PKMζ. These results suggest that EE produces an adaptive response to chronic stress allowing for increased GR levels, which lowers neuronal excitability reducing GluA2/PKMζ trafficking. We discuss this EE adaptive response to stress as a potential underlying mechanism that is protective for retaining synaptic plasticity and memory function. PMID:26617502

  17. Twins and non-twin siblings: different estimates of shared environmental influence in early childhood.

    PubMed

    Koeppen-Schomerus, Gesina; Spinath, Frank M; Plomin, Robert

    2003-04-01

    Twin studies typically indicate shared environmental influence for cognitive abilities, especially in early childhood. However, across studies, DZ twin correlations tend to be greater than non-twin sibling correlations, suggesting that twin estimates of shared environment are to some extent specific to twins. We tested this hypothesis in a sample of more than 1800 MZ and 1800 same-sex DZ pairs from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), a study of twins born in England and Wales in 1994 and 1995. For this analysis, we obtained comparable data from more than 130 same-sex younger siblings of the twins. Twins and their younger siblings were assessed for language, cognitive abilities and behavior problems by their parents at 2 and 3 years of age. For language and cognitive measures at both 2 and 3 years, but not for behavior problems, estimates of shared environment were more than twice as large for twins as compared to non-twin siblings. We conclude that about half of twin study estimates of shared environment for cognitive abilities in early childhood are specific to twins. Although many possibilities exist for explaining the special shared environment effect for twins, we suggest that cognitive-relevant experiences that are not shared by siblings are shared by twins because they are exactly the same age.

  18. Environmental DNA as a new method for early detection of New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldberg, Caren S.; Sepulveda, Adam; Ray, Andrew; Baumgardt, Jeremy A.; Waits, Lisette P.

    2013-01-01

    Early detection of aquatic invasive species is a critical task for management of aquatic ecosystems. This task is hindered by the difficulty and cost of surveying aquatic systems thoroughly. The New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) is a small, invasive parthenogenic mollusk that can reach very high population densities and severely affects ecosystem functioning. To assist in the early detection of this invasive species, we developed and validated a highly sensitive environmental deoxyribonucleic acid (eDNA) assay. We used a dose–response laboratory experiment to investigate the relationship between New Zealand mudsnail density and eDNA detected through time. We documented that as few as 1 individual in 1.5 L of water for 2 d could be detected with this method, and that eDNA from this species may remain detectable for 21 to 44 d after mudsnail removal. We used the eDNA method to confirm the presence of New Zealand mudsnail eDNA at densities as low as 11 to 144 snails/m2 in a eutrophic 5th-order river. Combined, these results demonstrate the high potential for eDNA surveys to assist with early detection of a widely distributed invasive aquatic invertebrate.

  19. Developing the Framework for an Early Warning System for Ebola based on Environmental Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dartevelle, Sebastien; Nguy-Robertson, Anthony; Bell, Jesse; Chretien, Jean-Paul

    2017-04-01

    The 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa indicated that this lethal disease can become a National Security issue as it crossed boarders and taxed regional health care systems. Ebola symptoms are also similar to other endemic diseases. Thus, forewarning of its possible presence can alert local public health facilities and populations, and may thereby reduce response time. Early work by our group has identified local climate (e.g. temperature, precipitation) and vegetation health (e.g. remote sensing using normalized difference vegetation index, NDVI) variables as leading indicators to known historical Ebola outbreaks. The environmental stress placed on the system as it reaches a climatic tipping point provides optimal conditions for spillover of Ebola virus from the reservoir host (which is unknown but suspected to be bats) to humans. This work outlines a framework for an approach to provide early warning maps based on the present state of the environment. Time series data from Climate Forecast System ver. 2 and AVHRR and MODIS satellite sensors are the basis for the early warning models used. These maps can provide policy makers and local health care professionals timely information for disease surveillance and preparation for future Ebola outbreaks.

  20. Sex differences in genetic and environmental contributions to alcohol consumption from early adolescence to young adulthood.

    PubMed

    Seglem, Karoline B; Waaktaar, Trine; Ask, Helga; Torgersen, Svenn

    2016-07-01

    To estimate genetic and environmental contributions to alcohol consumption from early adolescence to young adulthood, and test whether gender moderates these effects. Longitudinal twin cohort design. Population-based sample from Norway. A total of 2862 male and female twins, aged 14-22 years, were assessed at one (n = 881), two (n = 898) or three (n = 1083) occasions. The percentage of females was between 56 and 63 in the different age groups (in the different waves). Alcohol consumption was measured by two questionnaire items about frequency of alcohol use and frequency of being drunk. Additive genetic effects showed low to moderate contributions [proportion estimate, 95% confidence interval (CI) = range from 0.03 (0.00-0.14) to 0.49 (0.37-0.59) in males and from 0.09 (0.00-0.57) to 0.41 (0.24-0.58) in females] from adolescence to young adulthood, while environmental influences shared by twin pairs and contributing to twin similarity were moderate to highly influential during this developmental period [proportion estimate, 95% CI = range from 0.04 (0.00-0.13) to 0.45 (0.26-0.60) in males for shared environment in common with females, from 0.25 (0.09-0.42) to 0.54 (0.06-0.78) for shared environment specific to males and from 0.36 (0.20-0.52) to 0.51 (0.37-0.71) in females]. There was evidence of qualitative sex differences with shared environmental influences being largely sex-specific from middle adolescence onwards. Alcohol consumption from early adolescence to young adulthood appears to be influenced to a small to moderate degree by genetic factors and to a moderate to high degree by shared environmental factors (e.g. rearing influences, shared friends). The shared environmental factors influencing alcohol consumption appear to be largely gender-specific. © 2016 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  1. Prenatal environmental factors influencing IgE levels, atopy and early asthma.

    PubMed

    Peters, Junenette L; Boynton-Jarrett, Renée; Sandel, Megan

    2013-04-01

    There is increasing evidence that the prenatal window represents a critical period in which the developing immune system may be primed toward an allergic phenotype. Studies have investigated the role of a number of maternal environmental exposures on subsequent allergic disorders in the offspring. We summarize findings from recent studies on prenatal environmental factors influencing IgE levels, atopy, and early asthma. A building literature supports the influence of maternal exposure to environmental pollutants, such as allergens, traffic-related air pollution, tobacco smoke, and organochlorine compounds and social factors on allergic outcomes. More novel associations have been investigated, such as the effect of prenatal exposures to phthalates, bisphenol A, and magnetic fields. There is also rising interest in epigenetics as a pathway of action by which maternal exposure affect immune health. Emerging research highlights the challenges of investigating in-utero exposures and of relating exposures to such a heterogeneous and complex outcome as allergic disease. Further research is needed on the mechanisms by which prenatal exposure influences allergic response in childhood and how postnatal, familial and social factors, and sex can modify disease outcomes. Epigenetics is a promising new frontier, and likely one of several explanatory factors.

  2. Associations of different phenotypes of wheezing illness in early childhood with environmental variables implicated in the aetiology of asthma.

    PubMed

    Granell, Raquel; Sterne, Jonathan A C; Henderson, John

    2012-01-01

    Asthma is a complex heterogeneous disease that has increased in prevalence in many industrialised countries. However, the causes of asthma inception remain elusive. Consideration of sub-phenotypes of wheezing may reveal important clues to aetiological risk factors. Longitudinal phenotypes capturing population heterogeneity in wheezing reports from birth to 7 years were derived using latent class analysis in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Probability of class membership was used to examine the association between five wheezing phenotypes (transient early, prolonged early, intermediate-onset, late-onset, persistent) and early life risk factors for asthma. Phenotypes had similar patterns and strengths of associations with early environmental factors. Comparing transient early with prolonged early wheezing showed a similar pattern of association with most exposure variables considered in terms of the direction of the effect estimates but with prolonged early wheezing tending to have stronger associations than transient early wheezing except for parity and day care attendance. Associations with early life risk factors suggested that prolonged early wheeze might be a severe form of transient early wheezing. Although differences were found in the associations of early life risk factors with individual phenotypes, these did not point to novel aetiological pathways. Persistent wheezing phenotype has features suggesting overlap of early and late-onset phenotypes.

  3. Expensive Enrichment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Resnikoff, Marvin

    1975-01-01

    This article presents an economic analysis of the nuclear fuel reprocessing industry. It indicates that while environmental safety devices have improved the working conditions, they have also added ever-increasing costs to this necessary process. (MA)

  4. Climatic and environmental conditions favoring the crossing of the Carpathians by early Neolithic populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perşoiu, Ioana; Perşoiu, Aurel

    2015-04-01

    The study of the origin and spread of Neolithic has been the subject of heated debate since the early studies of Childe (1942). To what extent the dispersal process was influenced by environmental factors is still debated, one of the issues being whether climatic conditions influencing agricultural practices, could have influenced the dispersal route, "blocking" some of the Neolithic societies in front of ecological barriers. Data from Neolithic sites in SE Europe shows that a continuous stream of people and cultures flowed through the Danube's Iron Gates towards Central Europe, while in the eastern part of Europe this process was delayed, people and cultures "moving" around the Carpathians and crossing them with a delay of ca. 1000 years. One of the possible avenues for this crossing is the floodplain of Someşu Mic River (Transylvanian depression), home to the oldest (~8500 cal. BP) Neolithic settlement in Romania. In this paper, we review the climatic and environmental changes that affected the region at the time of Neolithic dispersal. Pollen and stable isotopes in cave ice indicate an early Holocene rapid warming during summer months, peaking around 7 ka cal. BP; and a delayed warming for autumn and winter months, peaking at 5 ka cal. BP, both followed by a continuous cooling trend towards the present. Someşu Mic River developed and maintained a narrow sinuous channel during the Holocene, with local development of meanders and anabranches, in response to both climatic and geologic controlling factors. Archaeological finds in the floodplain and the lower terraces suggest that human societies in the region responded in sensitive manner to these climatic and environmental changes. During warm and dry periods, with low fluvial activity, the number of settlements increased in the floodplain's perimeter, while during the short cold and humid periods, the number of settlements rapidly increased on the lower terraces and on the valley slopes, disappearing from the

  5. Eruptive history of the Karoo lava flows and their impact on early Jurassic environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moulin, M.; Fluteau, F.; Courtillot, V.; Marsh, J.; Delpech, G.; Quidelleur, X.; Gérard, M.

    2017-02-01

    This paper reports new paleomagnetic and geochronologic data from a 1500 m thick composite section belonging to the Drakensberg group, the thickest remnant of the Karoo lavas in Northern Lesotho. Flow-by-flow analysis of paleomagnetic directions reveals 21 magnetic directional groups, corresponding to single eruptive events, and 16 individual lava flows. The new age determinations of lava flows range from 180.1 ± 1.4 to 182.8 ± 2.6 Ma. These data, combined with previous results, allow us to propose that the main part of the Drakensberg group and the Karoo intrusive complex dated around 181-183 Ma may have been erupted over a period as short as 250 kyr and may have coincided with the two main phases of extinction in the Early Toarcian. This scenario agrees well with the discontinuous rhythm of environmental and biotic perturbations in the Late Pliensbachian-Toarcian interval.

  6. Petrogenesis of siliceous high-Mg series rocks as exemplified by the Early Paleoproterozoic mafic volcanic rocks of the Eastern Baltic Shield: enriched mantle versus crustal contamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogina, Maria; Zlobin, Valeriy; Sharkov, Evgenii; Chistyakov, Alexeii

    2015-04-01

    The Early Paleoproterozoic stage in the Earth's evolution was marked by the initiation of global rift systems, the tectonic nature of which was determined by plume geodynamics. These processes caused the voluminous emplacement of mantle melts with the formation of dike swarms, mafic-ultramafic layered intrusions, and volcanic rocks. All these rocks are usually considered as derivatives of SHMS (siliceous high-magnesian series). Within the Eastern Baltic Shield, the SHMS volcanic rocks are localized in the domains with different crustal history: in the Vodlozero block of the Karelian craton with the oldest (Middle Archean) crust, in the Central Block of the same craton with the Neoarchean crust, and in the Kola Craton with a heterogeneous crust. At the same time, these rocks are characterized by sufficiently close geochemical characteristics: high REE fractionation ((La/Yb)N = 4.9-11.7, (La/Sm)N=2.3-3.6, (Gd/Yb)N =1.66-2.74)), LILE enrichment, negative Nb anomaly, low to moderate Ti content, and sufficiently narrow variations in Nd isotope composition from -2.0 to -0.4 epsilon units. The tectonomagmatic interpretation of these rocks was ambiguous, because such characteristics may be produced by both crustal contamination of depleted mantle melts, and by generation from a mantle source metasomatized during previous subduction event. Similar REE patterns and overlapping Nd isotope compositions indicate that the studied basaltic rocks were formed from similar sources. If crustal contamination en route to the surface would play a significant role in the formation of the studied basalts, then almost equal amounts of contaminant of similar composition are required to produce the mafic rocks with similar geochemical signatures and close Nd isotopic compositions, which is hardly possible for the rocks spaced far apart in a heterogeneous crust. This conclusion is consistent with analysis of some relations between incompatible elements and their ratios. In particular, the

  7. Environmental data analysis and remote sensing for early detection of dengue and malaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Md Z.; Roytman, Leonid; Kadik, Abdelhamid; Rosy, Dilara A.

    2014-06-01

    Malaria and dengue fever are the two most common mosquito-transmitted diseases, leading to millions of serious illnesses and deaths each year. Because the mosquito vectors are sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature, precipitation, and humidity, it is possible to map areas currently or imminently at high risk for disease outbreaks using satellite remote sensing. In this paper we propose the development of an operational geospatial system for malaria and dengue fever early warning; this can be done by bringing together geographic information system (GIS) tools, artificial neural networks (ANN) for efficient pattern recognition, the best available ground-based epidemiological and vector ecology data, and current satellite remote sensing capabilities. We use Vegetation Health Indices (VHI) derived from visible and infrared radiances measured by satellite-mounted Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRR) and available weekly at 4-km resolution as one predictor of malaria and dengue fever risk in Bangladesh. As a study area, we focus on Bangladesh where malaria and dengue fever are serious public health threats. The technology developed will, however, be largely portable to other countries in the world and applicable to other disease threats. A malaria and dengue fever early warning system will be a boon to international public health, enabling resources to be focused where they will do the most good for stopping pandemics, and will be an invaluable decision support tool for national security assessment and potential troop deployment in regions susceptible to disease outbreaks.

  8. Environmental control on early life stages of flatfishes in the Lima Estuary (NW Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramos, Sandra; Ré, Pedro; Bordalo, Adriano A.

    2009-06-01

    Several flatfishes spawn in oceanic waters and pelagic larvae are transported inshore to settle in the nursery areas, usually estuaries, where they remain during their juvenile life. Nursery areas appear as extremely important habitats, not only for juveniles but also for the earlier planktonic larval fish. Yet, the majority of nursery studies tend to focus only on one development stage, missing an integrative approach of the entire early life that fishes spent within a nursery ground. Thus, the present study assessed the influence of environmental parameters on the dynamics of the larval and juvenile flatfishes, throughout their nursery life in the Lima Estuary. Between April 2002 and April 2004, fortnightly subsurface ichthyoplankton samples were collected and juveniles were collected from October 2003 until September 2005. Larval assemblages comprised nine flatfish species, while only six were observed among the juvenile assemblages. Solea senegalensis and Platichthys flesus were the most abundant species of both fractions of the Lima Estuary flatfishes. Larval flatfish assemblages varied seasonally, without relevant differences between lower and middle estuary. Platichthys flesus dominated the spring samples and summer and autumn periods were characterized by an increase of overall abundance and diversity of larval flatfishes, mainly S. senegalensis, associated with temperature increase and reduced river flow. On the contrary, during the winter abundance sharply decreased, as a consequence of higher river run-off that might compromised the immigration of incompetent marine larvae. Juvenile flatfishes were more abundant in the middle and upper areas of the estuary, but the species richness was higher near the river mouth. Sediment type, distance from the river mouth, salinity, temperature and dissolved oxygen were identified as the main environmental factors structuring the juvenile flatfish assemblages. Juveniles were spatially discrete, with the most abundant

  9. Life cycle assessment based environmental impact estimation model for pre-stressed concrete beam bridge in the early design phase

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Kyong Ju, E-mail: kjkim@cau.ac.kr; Yun, Won Gun, E-mail: ogun78@naver.com; Cho, Namho, E-mail: nhc51@cau.ac.kr

    The late rise in global concern for environmental issues such as global warming and air pollution is accentuating the need for environmental assessments in the construction industry. Promptly evaluating the environmental loads of the various design alternatives during the early stages of a construction project and adopting the most environmentally sustainable candidate is therefore of large importance. Yet, research on the early evaluation of a construction project's environmental load in order to aid the decision making process is hitherto lacking. In light of this dilemma, this study proposes a model for estimating the environmental load by employing only the mostmore » basic information accessible during the early design phases of a project for the pre-stressed concrete (PSC) beam bridge, the most common bridge structure. Firstly, a life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted on the data from 99 bridges by integrating the bills of quantities (BOQ) with a life cycle inventory (LCI) database. The processed data was then utilized to construct a case based reasoning (CBR) model for estimating the environmental load. The accuracy of the estimation model was then validated using five test cases; the model's mean absolute error rates (MAER) for the total environmental load was calculated as 7.09%. Such test results were shown to be superior compared to those obtained from a multiple-regression based model and a slab area base-unit analysis model. Henceforth application of this model during the early stages of a project is expected to highly complement environmentally friendly designs and construction by facilitating the swift evaluation of the environmental load from multiple standpoints. - Highlights: • This study is to develop the model of assessing the environmental impacts on LCA. • Bills of quantity from completed designs of PSC Beam were linked with the LCI DB. • Previous cases were used to estimate the environmental load of new case by CBR model. • CBR

  10. How do environmental factors influence life cycles and development? An experimental framework for early-diverging metazoans

    PubMed Central

    Bosch, Thomas C. G.; Adamska, Maja; Augustin, René; Domazet-Loso, Tomislav; Foret, Sylvain; Fraune, Sebastian; Funayama, Noriko; Grasis, Juris; Hamada, Mayuko; Hatta, Masayuki; Hobmayer, Bert; Kawai, Kotoe; Klimovich, Alexander; Manuel, Michael; Shinzato, Chuya; Technau, Uli; Yum, Seungshic; Miller, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological developmental biology (eco-devo) explores the mechanistic relationships between the processes of individual development and environmental factors. Recent studies imply that some of these relationships have deep evolutionary origins, and may even predate the divergences of the simplest extant animals, including cnidarians and sponges. Development of these early diverging metazoans is often sensitive to environmental factors, and these interactions occur in the context of conserved signaling pathways and mechanisms of tissue homeostasis whose detailed molecular logic remain elusive. Efficient methods for transgenesis in cnidarians together with the ease of experimental manipulation in cnidarians and sponges make them ideal models for understanding causal relationships between environmental factors and developmental mechanisms. Here, we identify major questions at the interface between animal evolution and development and outline a road map for research aimed at identifying the mechanisms that link environmental factors to developmental mechanisms in early diverging metazoans. PMID:25205353

  11. Potential utility of environmental DNA for early detection of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newton, Jeremy; Sepulveda, Adam; Sylvester, K; Thum, Ryan

    2016-01-01

    Considering the harmful and irreversible consequences of many biological invasions, early detection of an invasive species is an important step toward protecting ecosystems (Sepulveda et al. 2012). Early detection increases the probability that suppression or eradication efforts will be successful because invasive populations are small and localized (Vander Zanden et al. 2010). However, most invasive species are not detected early because current tools have low detection probabilities when target species are rare and the sampling effort required to achieve acceptable detection capabilities with current tools is seldom tractable (Jerde et al. 2011). As a result, many invasive species go undetected until they are abundant and suppression efforts become costly. Novel DNA-based surveillance tools have recently revolutionized early detection abilities using environmental DNA (eDNA) present in the water (Darling and Mahon 2011, Bohmann et al. 2014). In brief, eDNA monitoring enables the identification of organisms from DNA present and collected in water samples. Aquatic and semiaquatic organisms release DNA contained in sloughed, damaged, or partially decomposed tissue and waste products into the water and molecular techniques allow this eDNA in the water column to be identified from simple and easy-tocollect water samples (Darling and Mahon 2011). Despite limited understanding of the production, persistence, and spread of DNA in water (Barnes et al. 2014), eDNA monitoring has been applied not only to invasive species (Jerde et al. 2011), but also to species that are rare, endangered, or highly elusive (Spear et al. 2014). However, most eDNA research and monitoring has focused on detection of invertebrates and vertebrates and less attentionhas been given to developing eDNA techniques for detecting aquatic invasive plants. Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM; Myriophyllum spicatum L.) is an invasive species for which improved early detection would be particularly helpful. Advanced

  12. Effects of environmental enrichment on behavioral deficits and alterations in hippocampal BDNF induced by prenatal exposure to morphine in juvenile rats.

    PubMed

    Ahmadalipour, A; Sadeghzadeh, J; Vafaei, A A; Bandegi, A R; Mohammadkhani, R; Rashidy-Pour, A

    2015-10-01

    Prenatal morphine exposure throughout pregnancy can induce a series of neurobehavioral and neurochemical disturbances by affecting central nervous system development. This study was designed to investigate the effects of an enriched environment on behavioral deficits and changes in hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels induced by prenatal morphine in rats. On pregnancy days 11-18, female Wistar rats were randomly injected twice daily with saline or morphine. Offspring were weaned on postnatal day (PND) 21. They were subjected to a standard rearing environment or an enriched environment on PNDs 22-50. On PNDs 51-57, the behavioral responses including anxiety and depression-like behaviors, and passive avoidance memory as well as hippocampal BDNF levels were investigated. The light/dark (L/D) box and elevated plus maze (EPM) were used for the study of anxiety, forced swimming test (FST) was used to assess depression-like behavior and passive avoidance task was used to evaluate learning and memory. Prenatal morphine exposure caused a reduction in time spent in the EPM open arms and a reduction in time spent in the lit side of the L/D box. It also decreased step-through latency and increased time spent in the dark side of passive avoidance task. Prenatal morphine exposure also reduced immobility time and increased swimming time in FST. Postnatal rearing in an enriched environment counteracted with behavioral deficits in the EPM and passive avoidance task, but not in the L/D box. This suggests that exposure to an enriched environment during adolescence period alters anxiety profile in a task-specific manner. Prenatal morphine exposure reduced hippocampal BDNF levels, but enriched environment significantly increased BDNF levels in both saline- and morphine-exposed groups. Our results demonstrate that exposure to an enriched environment alleviates behavioral deficits induced by prenatal morphine exposure and up-regulates the decreased levels of BDNF

  13. Environmental adversity and children's early trajectories of problem behavior: The role of harsh parental discipline.

    PubMed

    Flouri, Eirini; Midouhas, Emily

    2017-03-01

    This study was performed to examine the role of harsh parental discipline in mediating and moderating the effects of environmental adversity (family socioeconomic disadvantage and adverse life events) on emotional and behavioral problems across early-to-middle childhood. The sample included 16,916 children (48% female; 24% non-White) from the U.K.'s Millennium Cohort Study. We analyzed trajectories of conduct, hyperactivity, and emotional problems, measured at ages 3, 5, and 7 years, using growth curve models. Harsh parental discipline was measured at these ages with parent-reported items on the frequency of using the physical and verbal discipline tactics of smacking, shouting at, and "telling off" the child. As expected, family socioeconomic disadvantage and adverse life events were significantly associated with emotional and behavioral problems. Harsh parental discipline was related to children's trajectories of problems, and it moderated, but did not explain, the effect of environmental risk on these trajectories. High-risk children experiencing harsh parental discipline had the highest levels of conduct problems and hyperactivity across the study period. In addition, harsh parental discipline predicted an increase in emotional symptoms over time in high-risk children, unseen in their counterparts experiencing low levels of harsh parental discipline. However, children in low-risk families were also negatively affected by harsh parental discipline concurrently and over time. In conclusion, harsh parental discipline predicted emotional and behavioral problems in high- and low-risk children and moderated the effects of family poverty and adversity on these problems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. Environmental Suitability of Vibrio Infections in a Warming Climate: An Early Warning System.

    PubMed

    Semenza, Jan C; Trinanes, Joaquin; Lohr, Wolfgang; Sudre, Bertrand; Löfdahl, Margareta; Martinez-Urtaza, Jaime; Nichols, Gordon L; Rocklöv, Joacim

    2017-10-10

    Some Vibrio spp. are pathogenic and ubiquitous in marine waters with low to moderate salinity and thrive with elevated sea surface temperature (SST). Our objective was to monitor and project the suitability of marine conditions for Vibrio infections under climate change scenarios. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) developed a platform (the ECDC Vibrio Map Viewer) to monitor the environmental suitability of coastal waters for Vibrio spp. using remotely sensed SST and salinity. A case-crossover study of Swedish cases was conducted to ascertain the relationship between SST and Vibrio infection through a conditional logistic regression. Climate change projections for Vibrio infections were developed for Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and RCP 8.5. The ECDC Vibrio Map Viewer detected environmentally suitable areas for Vibrio spp. in the Baltic Sea in July 2014 that were accompanied by a spike in cases and one death in Sweden. The estimated exposure-response relationship for Vibrio infections at a threshold of 16°C revealed a relative risk (RR)=1.14 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.27; p=0.024) for a lag of 2 wk; the estimated risk increased successively beyond this SST threshold. Climate change projections for SST under the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios indicate a marked upward trend during the summer months and an increase in the relative risk of these infections in the coming decades. This platform can serve as an early warning system as the risk of further Vibrio infections increases in the 21st century due to climate change. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP2198.

  15. Environmental Suitability of Vibrio Infections in a Warming Climate: An Early Warning System

    PubMed Central

    Trinanes, Joaquin; Lohr, Wolfgang; Sudre, Bertrand; Löfdahl, Margareta; Martinez-Urtaza, Jaime; Nichols, Gordon L.; Rocklöv, Joacim

    2017-01-01

    Background: Some Vibrio spp. are pathogenic and ubiquitous in marine waters with low to moderate salinity and thrive with elevated sea surface temperature (SST). Objectives: Our objective was to monitor and project the suitability of marine conditions for Vibrio infections under climate change scenarios. Methods: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) developed a platform (the ECDC Vibrio Map Viewer) to monitor the environmental suitability of coastal waters for Vibrio spp. using remotely sensed SST and salinity. A case-crossover study of Swedish cases was conducted to ascertain the relationship between SST and Vibrio infection through a conditional logistic regression. Climate change projections for Vibrio infections were developed for Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and RCP 8.5. Results: The ECDC Vibrio Map Viewer detected environmentally suitable areas for Vibrio spp. in the Baltic Sea in July 2014 that were accompanied by a spike in cases and one death in Sweden. The estimated exposure–response relationship for Vibrio infections at a threshold of 16°C revealed a relative risk (RR)=1.14 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.27; p=0.024) for a lag of 2 wk; the estimated risk increased successively beyond this SST threshold. Climate change projections for SST under the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios indicate a marked upward trend during the summer months and an increase in the relative risk of these infections in the coming decades. Conclusions: This platform can serve as an early warning system as the risk of further Vibrio infections increases in the 21st century due to climate change. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP2198 PMID:29017986

  16. Early life environmental and pharmacological stressors result in persistent dysregulations of the serotonergic system

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Peiyan; Sze, Ying; Gray, Laura Jane; Chang, Cecilia Chin Roei; Cai, Shiwei; Zhang, Xiaodong

    2015-01-01

    Dysregulations in the brain serotonergic system and exposure to environmental stressors have been implicated in the development of major depressive disorder. Here, we investigate the interactions between the stress and serotonergic systems by characterizing the behavioral and biochemical effects of chronic stress applied during early-life or adulthood in wild type (WT) mice and mice with deficient tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) function. We showed that chronic mild stress applied in adulthood did not affect the behaviors and serotonin levels of WT and TPH2 knock-in (KI) mice. Whereas, maternal separation (MS) stress increased anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors of WT mice, with no detectable behavioral changes in TPH2 KI mice. Biochemically, we found that MS WT mice had reduced brain serotonin levels, which was attributed to increased expression of monoamine oxidase A (MAO A). The increased MAO A expression was detected in MS WT mice at 4 weeks old and adulthood. No change in TPH2 expression was detected. To determine whether a pharmacological stressor, dexamethasone (Dex), will result in similar biochemical results obtained from MS, we used an in vitro system, SH-SY5Y cells, and found that Dex treatment resulted in increased MAO A expression levels. We then treated WT mice with Dex for 5 days, either during postnatal days 7–11 or adulthood. Both groups of Dex treated WT mice had reduced basal corticosterone and glucocorticoid receptors expression levels. However, only Dex treatment during PND7–11 resulted in reduced serotonin levels and increased MAO A expression. Just as with MS WT mice, TPH2 expression in PND7–11 Dex-treated WT mice was unaffected. Taken together, our findings suggest that both environmental and pharmacological stressors affect the expression of MAO A, and not TPH2, when applied during the critical postnatal period. This leads to long-lasting perturbations in the serotonergic system, and results in anxiety- and depressive

  17. 10 CFR 51.50 - Environmental report-construction permit, early site permit, or combined license stage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... costs of the proposed action or an evaluation of alternative energy sources. (3) For other than light... 10 Energy 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Environmental report-construction permit, early site permit, or combined license stage. 51.50 Section 51.50 Energy NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (CONTINUED...

  18. 10 CFR 51.50 - Environmental report-construction permit, early site permit, or combined license stage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... costs of the proposed action or an evaluation of alternative energy sources. (3) For other than light... 10 Energy 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Environmental report-construction permit, early site permit, or combined license stage. 51.50 Section 51.50 Energy NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (CONTINUED...

  19. 10 CFR 51.50 - Environmental report-construction permit, early site permit, or combined license stage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... costs of the proposed action or an evaluation of alternative energy sources. (3) For other than light... 10 Energy 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Environmental report-construction permit, early site permit, or combined license stage. 51.50 Section 51.50 Energy NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (CONTINUED...

  20. 10 CFR 51.50 - Environmental report-construction permit, early site permit, or combined license stage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... costs of the proposed action or an evaluation of alternative energy sources. (3) For other than light... 10 Energy 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Environmental report-construction permit, early site permit, or combined license stage. 51.50 Section 51.50 Energy NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (CONTINUED...

  1. 10 CFR 51.50 - Environmental report-construction permit, early site permit, or combined license stage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... costs of the proposed action or an evaluation of alternative energy sources. (3) For other than light... 10 Energy 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Environmental report-construction permit, early site permit, or combined license stage. 51.50 Section 51.50 Energy NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (CONTINUED...

  2. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Prereading Skills and Early Reading and Spelling Development in the United States, Australia, and Scandinavia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samuelsson, Stefan; Olson, Richard; Wadsworth, Sally; Corley, Robin; DeFries, John C.; Willcutt, Erik; Hulslander, Jacqueline; Byrne, Brian

    2007-01-01

    Genetic and environmental influences on prereading skills in preschool and on early reading and spelling development at the end of kindergarten were compared among samples of identical and fraternal twins from the U.S. (Colorado), Australia, and Scandinavia. Mean comparisons revealed significantly lower preschool print knowledge in Scandinavia,…

  3. Young Children Learning about Well-Being and Environmental Education in the Early Years: A Funds of Knowledge Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Susan; Skouteris, Helen; Cutter-Mackenzie, Amy; Rutherford, Leonie; O'Conner, Mandy; Mantilla, Ana; Morris, Heather; Elliot, Sue

    2016-01-01

    Early childhood educators currently provide content focused learning opportunities for children in the areas of well-being and environmental education. However, these are usually seen as discrete content areas and educators are challenged with responding to children's interests in popular-culture inspired food products given these influence their…

  4. Web 3D for Public, Environmental and Occupational Health: Early Examples from Second Life®

    PubMed Central

    Kamel Boulos, Maged N.; Ramloll, Rameshsharma; Jones, Ray; Toth-Cohen, Susan

    2008-01-01

    Over the past three years (2006–2008), the medical/health and public health communities have shown a growing interest in using online 3D virtual worlds like Second Life® (http://secondlife.com/) for health education, community outreach, training and simulations purposes. 3D virtual worlds are seen as the precursors of ‘Web 3D’, the next major iteration of the Internet that will follow in the coming years. This paper provides a tour of several flagship Web 3D experiences in Second Life®, including Play2Train Islands (emergency preparedness training), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—CDC Island (public health), Karuna Island (AIDS support and information), Tox Town at Virtual NLM Island (US National Library of Medicine - environmental health), and Jefferson’s Occupational Therapy Center. We also discuss the potential and future of Web 3D. These are still early days of 3D virtual worlds, and there are still many more untapped potentials and affordances of 3D virtual worlds that are yet to be explored, as the technology matures further and improves over the coming months and years. PMID:19190358

  5. Environmental stress in the Early Mediaeval Slavic population at Borovce (Slovakia).

    PubMed

    Obertová, Zuzana

    2005-01-01

    Several palaeopathological indicators examined in skeletal samples are caused by stress during childhood and remain visible in adults. In this study, dental enamel hypoplasia was observed in 451 individuals from the Early Mediaeval (8th to beginning of 12th c. AD) Slavic skeletal series at Borovce (Slovakia). The presence of enamel hypoplasia was scored in all types of deciduous and permanent teeth. More than one-fourth (27.2%) of the individuals with preserved permanent teeth showed enamel hypoplasia. No significant differences in the occurrence of the enamel lesions were found between males and females. The age at development of hypoplasias was estimated for 74 individuals by measuring the distance of the defect from the cemento-enamel junction. The hypoplastic defects appeared most frequently between 2.5 and 3.0 years. Following the trends observed in the distribution of age at development of the enamel lesions between subadults and adults, individuals stressed earlier in life had a reduced ability to cope with later insults. High prevalence of enamel hypoplasia, especially among 10-14-year-old growing juveniles, has led to the assumption that the Borovce population lived a considerably long period under conditions of high environmental pathogen load, and probably also suffered from some nutritional deficiencies.

  6. Enrichment in Pre-Kindergarten Life Predicts Initiation of Cigarette Smoking in Asian American and Hispanic/Latino Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Xinguang; Weiss, Jie Wu

    2007-01-01

    The risk of tobacco use during adolescence may be traced back to early childhood, the time when a child is most vulnerable to environmental influence. We examined daily-life enrichment during pre-kindergarten period as a predictor of initiation of cigarette smoking among Asian American and Hispanic/Latino children during adolescence. Survey data…

  7. Estuarine water quality in parks of the Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network: Development and early implementation of vital signs estuarine nutrient-enrichment monitoring, 2003-06

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kopp, Blaine S.; Nielsen, Martha; Glisic, Dejan; Neckles, Hilary A.

    2009-01-01

    This report documents results of pilot tests of a protocol for monitoring estuarine nutrient enrichment for the Vital Signs Monitoring Program of the National Park Service Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network. Data collected from four parks during protocol development in 2003-06 are presented: Gateway National Recreation Area, Colonial National Historic Park, Fire Island National Seashore, and Assateague Island National Seashore. The monitoring approach incorporates several spatial and temporal designs to address questions at a hierarchy of scales. Indicators of estuarine response to nutrient enrichment were sampled using a probability design within park estuaries during a late-summer index period. Monitoring variables consisted of dissolved-oxygen concentration, chlorophyll a concentration, water temperature, salinity, attenuation of downwelling photosynthetically available radiation (PAR), and turbidity. The statistical sampling design allowed the condition of unsampled locations to be inferred from the distribution of data from a set of randomly positioned "probability" stations. A subset of sampling stations was sampled repeatedly during the index period, and stations were not rerandomized in subsequent years. These "trend stations" allowed us to examine temporal variability within the index period, and to improve the sensitivity of the monitoring protocol to detecting change through time. Additionally, one index site in each park was equipped for continuous monitoring throughout the index period. Thus, the protocol includes elements of probabilistic and targeted spatial sampling, and the temporal intensity ranges from snapshot assessments to continuous monitoring.

  8. Can Non-Beak Treated Hens be Kept in Commercial Furnished Cages? Exploring the Effects of Strain and Extra Environmental Enrichment on Behaviour, Feather Cover, and Mortality

    PubMed Central

    Morrissey, Krysta L. H.; Brocklehurst, Sarah; Baker, Laurence; Widowski, Tina M.; Sandilands, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    Commercial laying hens are prone to injurious pecking (IP), a common multifactorial problem. A 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design assessed the effects of breed (Lohmann Brown Classic (L) or Hyline Brown (H)), beak treatment (infra-red treated (T) or not (NT)), and environment (extra enrichment (EE) or no extra enrichment (NE)) on mortality, behaviour, feather cover, and beak shape. Hens were allocated to treatments at 16 weeks of age and data were collected every four weeks from age 19 to 71 weeks. Data were analysed in Genstat using mixed models. L hens had higher all and IP-related mortality than H hens (p < 0.003), whilst NT hens had higher mortality than T hens but only due to culling of whole cages (p < 0.001). Feather cover for L hens deteriorated more quickly with age at most body sites than H hens (age × breed × body site p < 0.001). For NT hens, feather cover was worse at most body sites (beak treatment × body site p < 0.001), and worsened more quickly with age (age × beak treatment p = 0.014) than T hens. L and NE hens performed more bird-to-bird pecking than H and EE hens, respectively (breed p = 0.015, enrichment p = 0.032). More damage to mats and ropes was caused by L and NT hens than by H and T hens, respectively (age × breed p < 0.005, beak treatment p < 0.001). Though H hens had fewer mortalities and better feather cover, breed effects may have been influenced by farm management practices, as they may have been better suited to H than L hens. Though EE hens performed less bird-to-bird pecking, the enrichments were less effective at reducing feather cover damage and mortality than expected. PMID:26927190

  9. Can Non-Beak Treated Hens be Kept in Commercial Furnished Cages? Exploring the Effects of Strain and Extra Environmental Enrichment on Behaviour, Feather Cover, and Mortality.

    PubMed

    Morrissey, Krysta L H; Brocklehurst, Sarah; Baker, Laurence; Widowski, Tina M; Sandilands, Victoria

    2016-02-25

    Commercial laying hens are prone to injurious pecking (IP), a common multifactorial problem. A 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design assessed the effects of breed (Lohmann Brown Classic (L) or Hyline Brown (H)), beak treatment (infra-red treated (T) or not (NT)), and environment (extra enrichment (EE) or no extra enrichment (NE)) on mortality, behaviour, feather cover, and beak shape. Hens were allocated to treatments at 16 weeks of age and data were collected every four weeks from age 19 to 71 weeks. Data were analysed in Genstat using mixed models. L hens had higher all and IP-related mortality than H hens (p < 0.003), whilst NT hens had higher mortality than T hens but only due to culling of whole cages (p < 0.001). Feather cover for L hens deteriorated more quickly with age at most body sites than H hens (age × breed × body site p < 0.001). For NT hens, feather cover was worse at most body sites (beak treatment × body site p < 0.001), and worsened more quickly with age (age × beak treatment p = 0.014) than T hens. L and NE hens performed more bird-to-bird pecking than H and EE hens, respectively (breed p = 0.015, enrichment p = 0.032). More damage to mats and ropes was caused by L and NT hens than by H and T hens, respectively (age × breed p < 0.005, beak treatment p < 0.001). Though H hens had fewer mortalities and better feather cover, breed effects may have been influenced by farm management practices, as they may have been better suited to H than L hens. Though EE hens performed less bird-to-bird pecking, the enrichments were less effective at reducing feather cover damage and mortality than expected.

  10. Early physiological responses of Pinus pinea L. seedlings infected by Heterobasidion sp.pl. in an ozone-enriched atmospheric environment.

    PubMed

    Pollastrini, Martina; Luchi, Nicola; Michelozzi, Marco; Gerosa, Giacomo; Marzuoli, Riccardo; Bussotti, Filippo; Capretti, Paolo

    2015-03-01

    The presence of the American root-rot disease fungus Heterobasidion irregulare Garbel. & Otrosina was detected in Italian coastal pine forests (Pinus pinea L.) in addition to the common native species Heterobasidion annosum (Fries) Brefeld. High levels of tropospheric ozone (O3) as an atmospheric pollutant are usually experienced in Mediterranean pine forests. To explore the effect of interaction between the two Heterobasidion species and ozone pollution on P. pinea, an open-top chamber (OTC) experiment was carried out. Five-year-old P. pinea seedlings were inoculated with the fungal species considered (H. irregulare, H. annosum and mock-inoculation as control), and then exposed in charcoal-filtered open-top chambers (CF-OTC) and non-filtered ozone-enriched chambers (NF+) from July to the first week of August 2010 at the experimental facilities of Curno (North Italy). Fungal inoculation effects in an ozone-enriched environment were assessed as: (i) the length of the inoculation lesion; (ii) chlorophyll a fluorescence (ChlF) responses; and (iii) analysis of resin terpenes. Results showed no differences on lesion length between fungal and ozone treatments, whereas the short-term effects of the two stress factors on ChlF indicate an increased photosynthetic efficiency, thus suggesting the triggering of compensation/repair processes. The total amount of resin terpenes is enhanced by fungal infection of both species, but depressed by ozone to the levels observed in mock-inoculated plants. Variations in terpene profiles were also induced by stem base inoculations and ozone treatment. Ozone might negatively affect terpene defences making plants more susceptible to pathogens and insects. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Chronology of the Early Toarcian environmental crisis in the Lorraine Sub-Basin (NE Paris Basin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruebsam, Wolfgang; Münzberger, Petra; Schwark, Lorenz

    2014-10-01

    Early Toarcian (Jurassic; ∼183 Ma) sediments recorded profound environmental changes, including mass extinction, global warming, marine transgression as well as widespread bottom water anoxia and organic matter accumulation on the Western Tethyan shelf. Enhanced organic matter accumulation was accompanied by a positive carbon isotope excursion (CIE) in pelagic carbonate, which marks the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event. These environmental changes were accompanied by a major perturbation of the global carbon cycle, expressed by negative CIE, interrupting the positive trend. The duration of the carbon cycle perturbation is still debated, with estimates for the negative CIE range from ∼200 to ∼600 kyr. Here we present ultra high-resolution (<1 kyr) measurements of magnetic susceptibility and sediment color from a marine section located in the Lorraine Sub-Basin (NE Paris Basin) documenting Milankovitch-controlled fluctuations in depositional conditions that occurred superimposed onto the overall sea level evolution. Differences in the wavelength of the sedimentary cycles indicate variable sediment accumulation rates that mainly resulted from rapid sea level fluctuations. The most pronounced sea level rise that took place within the uppermost tenuicostatum zone resulted in a strong condensation of the basal Schistes Carton formation. Strong condensation can explain the discrepancy between durations previously calculated for the CIE placed at this stratigraphic interval. Our data support durations of ∼900 kyr and ∼600 kyr for the positive and negative CIE, respectively. The cyclostratigraphy-based timescale further proposes a duration of >555 kyr for the tenuicostatum zone and 1310 kyr for the serpentinum zone. The durations of the elegantulum and falciferum subzones can be estimated to ∼790 kyr and ∼520 kyr, respectively. A change in the orbital response from eccentricity- to obliquity-forcing, evident from other locations, is well-expressed in the Lorraine

  12. Integrative stratigraphy during extreme environmental changes and biotic recovery time: The Early Triassic in Indian Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richoz, Sylvain; Krystyn, Leopold; Algeo, Thomas; Bhargava, Om

    2014-05-01

    The understanding of extreme environmental changes as major extinction events, perturbations of global biogeochemical cycles or rapid climate shifts is based on a precise timing of the different events. But especially in such moving environments exact correlations are difficult to establish what underlines the necessity of an integrated stratigraphy by using all tools at disposition. A Lower Triassic section at Mud in the Spiti Valley (Western Himalaya, India) is a candidate section for the GSSP of the Induan-Olenekian Boundary (IOB). The succession was deposited in a deep-shelf setting on the southern margin of the Neotethys Ocean. The section contains abundant fossils allowing a very precise regional biostratigraphy and displays no signs of sedimentary breaks. Analysis of pelagic faunas proves a significant, two-step radiation phase in ammonoids and conodonts close to the Induan-Olenekian boundary. These diversifications are coupled with a short-termed positive δ13Ccarb excursion of global evidence. The Spiti δ13Ccarb excursion displays, however, different amplitude and biostratigraphic position than in other relevant sections for this time interval. In this study, we analyzed δ13Ccarb, δ13Corg, and δ15Norg as well as major, trace, and REE concentrations for a 16-m-thick interval spanning the mid-Griesbachian to early Spathian substages, to better constrains the chain of events. Prior to the first radiation step, high difference gradient between the δ13Ccarb values of tempestite beds with shallow carbonate and carbonate originated in deeper water is interpreted as a sign of a stratified water column. This effect disappears with the onset of better oxygenated conditions at the time of the ammonoid-conodont radiation, which correspond as well to δ13Ccarb, δ13Corg and δ15Norg positive excursions. A decrease in Mo and U concentrations occurring at the same point suggests a shift toward locally less reducing conditions. The second step coincided with the

  13. Genetic and environmental influences on alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, and nicotine use from early adolescence to middle adulthood.

    PubMed

    Kendler, Kenneth S; Schmitt, Eric; Aggen, Steven H; Prescott, Carol A

    2008-06-01

    While both environmental and genetic factors are important in the etiology of psychoactive substance use (PSU), we know little of how these influences differ through development. To clarify the changing role of genes and environment in PSU from early adolescence through middle adulthood. Retrospective assessment by life history calendar, with univariate and bivariate structural modeling. General community. A total of 1796 members of male-male pairs from the Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders. Levels of use of alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, and nicotine recorded for every year of the respondent's life. For nicotine, alcohol, and cannabis, familial environmental factors were critical in influencing use in early adolescence and gradually declined in importance through young adulthood. Genetic factors, by contrast, had little or no influence on PSU in early adolescence and gradually increased in their effect with increasing age. The sources of individual differences in caffeine use changed much more modestly over time. Substantial correlations were seen among levels of cannabis, nicotine, and alcohol use and specifically between caffeine and nicotine. In adolescence, those correlations were strongly influenced by shared effects from the familial environment. However, as individuals aged, more and more of the correlation in PSU resulted from genetic factors that influenced use of both substances. These results support an etiologic model for individual differences in PSU in which initiation and early patterns of use are strongly influenced by social and familial environmental factors while later levels of use are strongly influenced by genetic factors. The substantial correlations seen in levels of PSU across substances are largely the result of social environmental factors in adolescence, with genetic factors becoming progressively more important through early and middle adulthood.

  14. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Alcohol, Caffeine, Cannabis, and Nicotine Use From Early Adolescence to Middle Adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Kendler, Kenneth S.; Schmitt, Eric; Aggen, Steven H.; Prescott, Carol A.

    2009-01-01

    Context While both environmental and genetic factors are important in the etiology of psychoactive substance use (PSU), we know little of how these influences differ through development. Objective To clarify the changing role of genes and environment in PSU from early adolescence through middle adulthood. Design Retrospective assessment by life history calendar, with univariate and bivariate structural modeling. Setting General community. Participants A total of 1796 members of male-male pairs from the Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders. Main Outcome Measures Levels of use of alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, and nicotine recorded for every year of the respondent's life. Results For nicotine, alcohol, and cannabis, familial environmental factors were critical in influencing use in early adolescence and gradually declined in importance through young adulthood. Genetic factors, by contrast, had little or no influence on PSU in early adolescence and gradually increased in their effect with increasing age. The sources of individual differences in caffeine use changed much more modestly over time. Substantial correlations were seen among levels of cannabis, nicotine, and alcohol use and specifically between caffeine and nicotine. In adolescence, those correlations were strongly influenced by shared effects from the familial environment. However, as individuals aged, more and more of the correlation in PSU resulted from genetic factors that influenced use of both substances. Conclusions These results support an etiologic model for individual differences in PSU in which initiation and early patterns of use are strongly influenced by social and familial environmental factors while later levels of use are strongly influenced by genetic factors. The substantial correlations seen in levels of PSU across substances are largely the result of social environmental factors in adolescence, with genetic factors becoming progressively more important

  15. Globular cluster systems as tracers of environmental effects on Virgo early-type dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez-Janssen, R.; Aguerri, J. A. L.

    2012-08-01

    Early-type dwarfs (dEs) are by far the most abundant galaxy population in nearby clusters. Whether these objects are primordial, or the recent end products of the different physical mechanisms that can transform galaxies once they enter these high-density environments, is still a matter of debate. Here we present a novel approach to test these scenarios by comparing the properties of the globular cluster systems (GCSs) of Virgo dEs and their potential progenitors with simple predictions from gravitational and hydrodynamical interaction models. We show that low-mass (M★ ≲ 2 × 108 M⊙) dEs have GCSs consistent with the descendants of gas-stripped late-type dwarfs. On the other hand, higher mass dEs have properties - including the high mass specific frequencies of their GCSs and their concentrated spatial distribution within Virgo - incompatible with a recent, environmentally driven evolution. They mostly comprise nucleated systems, but also dEs with recent star formation and/or disc features. Bright, nucleated dEs appear to be a population that has long resided within the cluster potential well, but have surprisingly managed to retain very rich and spatially extended GCSs - possibly an indication of high total masses. Our analysis does not favour violent evolutionary mechanisms that result in significant stellar mass-losses, but more gentle processes involving gas removal by a combination of internal and external factors, and highlights the relevant role of initial conditions. Additionally, we briefly comment on the origin of luminous cluster S0 galaxies.

  16. The MASSIVE survey - VIII. Stellar velocity dispersion profiles and environmental dependence of early-type galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veale, Melanie; Ma, Chung-Pei; Greene, Jenny E.; Thomas, Jens; Blakeslee, John P.; Walsh, Jonelle L.; Ito, Jennifer

    2018-02-01

    We measure the radial profiles of the stellar velocity dispersions, σ(R), for 90 early-type galaxies (ETGs) in the MASSIVE survey, a volume-limited integral-field spectroscopic (IFS) galaxy survey targeting all northern-sky ETGs with absolute K-band magnitude MK < -25.3 mag, or stellar mass M* ≳ 4 × 1011M⊙, within 108 Mpc. Our wide-field 107 arcsec × 107 arcsec IFS data cover radii as large as 40 kpc, for which we quantify separately the inner (2 kpc) and outer (20 kpc) logarithmic slopes γinner and γouter of σ(R). While γinner is mostly negative, of the 56 galaxies with sufficient radial coverage to determine γouter we find 36 per cent to have rising outer dispersion profiles, 30 per cent to be flat within the uncertainties and 34 per cent to be falling. The fraction of galaxies with rising outer profiles increases with M* and in denser galaxy environment, with 10 of the 11 most massive galaxies in our sample having flat or rising dispersion profiles. The strongest environmental correlations are with local density and halo mass, but a weaker correlation with large-scale density also exists. The average γouter is similar for brightest group galaxies, satellites and isolated galaxies in our sample. We find a clear positive correlation between the gradients of the outer dispersion profile and the gradients of the velocity kurtosis h4. Altogether, our kinematic results suggest that the increasing fraction of rising dispersion profiles in the most massive ETGs are caused (at least in part) by variations in the total mass profiles rather than in the velocity anisotropy alone.

  17. Environmental forces that shape early development: What we know and still need to know

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Understanding health requires more than knowledge of the genome. Environmental factors regulate gene function through epigenetics. Collectively, environmental exposures have been called the "exposome". Caregivers are instrumental in shaping exposures in a child's initial years. Maternal dietary patt...

  18. Environmental, depositional and cultural changes in the upper Pleistocene and early Holocene; the Cinglera del Capello Sequence (Capellades, Spain)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vaquero, Manuel; Allué, Ethel; Bischoff, James L.; Burjachs, Francesc; Vallverdú, Josep

    2013-01-01

    The correlation between environmental and cultural changes is one of the primary archeological and paleoanthropological research topics. Analysis of ice and marine cores has yielded a high-resolution record of millennial-scale changes during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene eras. However, cultural changes are documented in low-resolution continental deposits; thus, their correlation with the millennial-scale climatic sequence is often difficult. In this paper, we present a rare occurrence in which a thick archeological sequence is associated with a high-resolution environmental record. The Cinglera del Capello is a tufa-draped cliff located in the northeastern Iberian Peninsula, 50 km west of Barcelona. This cliff harbors several rock-shelters with Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene deposits. Together, the deposits of four rock-shelters span from 7000 to 70,000 years ago and provide a high-resolution record of the environmental and human dynamics during this timespan. This record allows the correlation of the cultural and environmental changes. The multiproxy approach to the Cinglera evidence indicates that the main cultural stages of the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene (Middle Paleolithic, Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic) are associated with significant changes in the environmental and depositional contexts.

  19. Thermally condensed humic acids onto silica as SPE for effective enrichment of glucocorticoids from environmental waters followed by HPLC-HESI-MS/MS.

    PubMed

    Speltini, Andrea; Merlo, Francesca; Maraschi, Federica; Sturini, Michela; Contini, Matteo; Calisi, Nicola; Profumo, Antonella

    2018-03-09

    Pristine humic acids (HAs) were thermally condensed onto silica microparticles by a one-pot, inexpensive and green preparation route obtaining a mixed-mode sorbent (HA-C@silica) with good sorption affinity for glucocorticoids (GCs). The carbon-based material, characterized by various techniques, was indeed applied as the sorbent for fixed-bed solid-phase extraction of eight GCs from river water and wastewater treatment plant effluent, spiked at different concentration levels in the range 1-400 ng L -1 . After sample extraction, the target analytes were simultaneously and quantitatively eluted in a single fraction of methanol, achieving enrichment factor 4000 and 1000 in river water and wastewater effluent, respectively. Full recovery for all compounds, was gained in the real matrices studied (80-125% in river water, 79-126% in wastewater effluent), with inter-day precision showing relative standard deviations (RSD) below 15% and 18% (n = 3), for river and wastewater effluent, correspondingly. The high enrichment factors coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry quantification (MRM mode) provided method quantification limits of 0.009-0.48 ng L -1 in river water and 0.06-3 ng L -1 in wastewater effluent and, at the same time, secure identification of the selected drugs. As also evidenced by comparison with literature, HA-C@silica proved to be a valid alternative to the current commercial sorbents, in terms of extraction capability, enrichment factor, ease of preparation and cost. The batch-to-batch reproducibility was assessed by recovery tests on three independently prepared HA-C@silica powders (RSD lower than 7%). Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. [Influence of environmental enrichment on parameters of behavior in open field test in the rats born from females with chronic alcoholization].

    PubMed

    Vakhnin, V A; Briukhin, G V

    2014-04-01

    The aim of this work was studying of morphology of a brain and the analysis of behavior at posterity of females of rats with a chronic alcoholic intoxication. As object of research were taken 60-day animals received from mothers with chronic alcoholic injury of hepatobiliary systems. During certain time (1.5 months) the part of animals grew in standard conditions, and another--in the "enriched" environment. The behavior analysis was spent in the open field test. Also was carried out research of a thickness of a cortex and a molecular layer of a forebrain. Work included three series of experiments. It is established, that the posterity of mothers with chronic injury of the hepatobiliary systems is characterized by the lowered motorial and research activity, increased by emotional reactivity that is accompanied by changes of structure of a cortex. The long finding of "alcoholic" animals in the "enriched" environment within 1.5 months promoted increasing of motorial and research activity, emotional reactance, change of structure of a cortex.

  1. Varying strength of cognitive markers and biomarkers to predict conversion and cognitive decline in an early-stage-enriched mild cognitive impairment sample.

    PubMed

    Egli, Simone C; Hirni, Daniela I; Taylor, Kirsten I; Berres, Manfred; Regeniter, Axel; Gass, Achim; Monsch, Andreas U; Sollberger, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Several cognitive, neuroimaging, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers predict conversion from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia. However, predictors might be more or less powerful depending on the characteristics of the MCI sample. To investigate which cognitive markers and biomarkers predict conversion to AD dementia and course of cognitive functioning in a MCI sample with a high proportion of early-stage MCI patients. Variables known to predict progression in MCI patients and hypothesized to predict progression in early-stage MCI patients were selected. Cognitive (long-delay free recall, regional primacy score), imaging (hippocampal and entorhinal cortex volumes, fornix fractional anisotropy), and CSF (Aβ1-42/t-tau, Aβ1-42) variables from 36 MCI patients were analyzed with Cox regression and mixed-effect models to determine their individual and combined abilities to predict time to conversion to AD dementia and course of global cognitive functioning, respectively. Those variables hypothesized to predict the course of early-stage MCI patients were most predictive for MCI progression. Specifically, regional primacy score (a measure of word-list position learning) most consistently predicted conversion to AD dementia and course of cognitive functioning. Both the prediction of conversion and course of cognitive functioning were maximized by including CSF Aβ1-42 and fornix integrity biomarkers, respectively, indicating the complementary information carried by cognitive variables and biomarkers. Predictors of MCI progression need to be interpreted in light of the characteristics of the respective MCI sample. Future studies should aim to compare predictive strengths of markers between early-stage and late-stage MCI patients.

  2. Observational and modeling constraints on global anthropogenic enrichment of mercury.

    PubMed

    Amos, Helen M; Sonke, Jeroen E; Obrist, Daniel; Robins, Nicholas; Hagan, Nicole; Horowitz, Hannah M; Mason, Robert P; Witt, Melanie; Hedgecock, Ian M; Corbitt, Elizabeth S; Sunderland, Elsie M

    2015-04-07

    Centuries of anthropogenic releases have resulted in a global legacy of mercury (Hg) contamination. Here we use a global model to quantify the impact of uncertainty in Hg atmospheric emissions and cycling on anthropogenic enrichment and discuss implications for future Hg levels. The plausibility of sensitivity simulations is evaluated against multiple independent lines of observation, including natural archives and direct measurements of present-day environmental Hg concentrations. It has been previously reported that pre-industrial enrichment recorded in sediment and peat disagree by more than a factor of 10. We find this difference is largely erroneous and caused by comparing peat and sediment against different reference time periods. After correcting this inconsistency, median enrichment in Hg accumulation since pre-industrial 1760 to 1880 is a factor of 4.3 for peat and 3.0 for sediment. Pre-industrial accumulation in peat and sediment is a factor of ∼ 5 greater than the precolonial era (3000 BC to 1550 AD). Model scenarios that omit atmospheric emissions of Hg from early mining are inconsistent with observational constraints on the present-day atmospheric, oceanic, and soil Hg reservoirs, as well as the magnitude of enrichment in archives. Future reductions in anthropogenic emissions will initiate a decline in atmospheric concentrations within 1 year, but stabilization of subsurface and deep ocean Hg levels requires aggressive controls. These findings are robust to the ranges of uncertainty in past emissions and Hg cycling.

  3. Vitamin D, folate, and potential early lifecycle environmental origin of significant adult phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Lucock, Mark; Yates, Zoë; Martin, Charlotte; Choi, Jeong-Hwa; Boyd, Lyndell; Tang, Sa; Naumovski, Nenad; Furst, John; Roach, Paul; Jablonski, Nina; Chaplin, George; Veysey, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin D and folate are highly UV sensitive, and critical for maintaining health throughout the lifecycle. This study examines whether solar irradiance during the first trimester of pregnancy influences vitamin D receptor (VDR) and nuclear folate gene variant occurrence, and whether affected genes influence late-life biochemical/clinical phenotypes. 228 subjects were examined for periconceptional exposure to solar irradiance, variation in vitamin D/folate genes (polymerase chain reaction (PCR)), dietary intake (food frequency questionnaire (FFQ)) and important adult biochemical/clinical phenotypes. Periconceptional solar irradiance was associated with VDR-BsmI (P = 0.0008(wk7)), TaqI (P = 0.0014(wk7)) and EcoRV (P = 0.0030(wk6)) variant occurrence between post-conceptional weeks 6-8, a period when ossification begins. Similar effects were detected for other VDR gene polymorphisms. Periconceptional solar irradiance was also associated with 19 bp del-DHFR (P = 0.0025(wk6)), and to a lesser extent C1420T-SHMT (P = 0.0249(wk6)), a folate-critical time during embryogenesis. These same genes were associated with several late-life phenotypes: VDR-BsmI, TaqI and ApaI determined the relationship between dietary vitamin D and both insulin (P < 0.0001/BB, 0.0007/tt and 0.0173/AA, respectively) and systolic blood pressure (P = 0.0290/Bb, 0.0299/Tt and 0.0412/AA, respectively), making them important early and late in the lifecycle. While these and other phenotype associations were found for the VDR variants, folate polymorphism associations in later-life were limited to C1420T-SHMT (P = 0.0037 and 0.0297 for fasting blood glucose and HbA1c levels, respectively). We additionally report nutrient-gene relationships with body mass index, thiol/folate metabolome, cognition, depression and hypertension. Furthermore, photoperiod at conception influenced occurrence of VDR-Tru9I and 2R3R-TS genotypes (P = 0.0120 and 0.0360, respectively). Findings identify environmental and nutritional

  4. Vitamin D, folate, and potential early lifecycle environmental origin of significant adult phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Lucock, Mark; Yates, Zoë; Martin, Charlotte; Choi, Jeong-Hwa; Boyd, Lyndell; Tang, Sa; Naumovski, Nenad; Furst, John; Roach, Paul; Jablonski, Nina; Chaplin, George; Veysey, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Background and objectives: Vitamin D and folate are highly UV sensitive, and critical for maintaining health throughout the lifecycle. This study examines whether solar irradiance during the first trimester of pregnancy influences vitamin D receptor (VDR) and nuclear folate gene variant occurrence, and whether affected genes influence late-life biochemical/clinical phenotypes. Methodology: 228 subjects were examined for periconceptional exposure to solar irradiance, variation in vitamin D/folate genes (polymerase chain reaction (PCR)), dietary intake (food frequency questionnaire (FFQ)) and important adult biochemical/clinical phenotypes. Results: Periconceptional solar irradiance was associated with VDR-BsmI (P = 0.0008wk7), TaqI (P = 0.0014wk7) and EcoRV (P = 0.0030wk6) variant occurrence between post-conceptional weeks 6–8, a period when ossification begins. Similar effects were detected for other VDR gene polymorphisms. Periconceptional solar irradiance was also associated with 19 bp del-DHFR (P = 0.0025wk6), and to a lesser extent C1420T-SHMT (P = 0.0249wk6), a folate-critical time during embryogenesis. These same genes were associated with several late-life phenotypes: VDR-BsmI, TaqI and ApaI determined the relationship between dietary vitamin D and both insulin (P < 0.0001/BB, 0.0007/tt and 0.0173/AA, respectively) and systolic blood pressure (P = 0.0290/Bb, 0.0299/Tt and 0.0412/AA, respectively), making them important early and late in the lifecycle. While these and other phenotype associations were found for the VDR variants, folate polymorphism associations in later-life were limited to C1420T-SHMT (P = 0.0037 and 0.0297 for fasting blood glucose and HbA1c levels, respectively). We additionally report nutrient–gene relationships with body mass index, thiol/folate metabolome, cognition, depression and hypertension. Furthermore, photoperiod at conception influenced occurrence of VDR-Tru9I and 2R3R-TS genotypes (P = 0.0120 and 0.0360, respectively

  5. Persistent Genetic and Family-Wide Environmental Contributions to Early Number Knowledge and Later Achievement in Mathematics.

    PubMed

    Garon-Carrier, Gabrielle; Boivin, Michel; Kovas, Yulia; Feng, Bei; Brendgen, Mara; Vitaro, Frank; Séguin, Jean R; Tremblay, Richard E; Dionne, Ginette

    2017-12-01

    This study investigated the stable and transient genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in number knowledge in the transition from preschool (age 5) to Grade 1 (age 7) and to the predictive association between early number knowledge and later math achievement (age 10-12). We conducted genetic simplex modeling across these three time points. Genetic variance was transmitted from preschool number knowledge to late-elementary math achievement; in addition, significant genetic innovation (i.e., new influence) occurred at ages 10 through 12 years. The shared and nonshared environmental contributions decreased during the transition from preschool to school entry, but shared and nonshared environment contributed to the continuity across time from preschool number knowledge to subsequent number knowledge and math achievement. There was no new environmental contribution at time points subsequent to preschool. Results are discussed in light of their practical implications for children who have difficulties with mathematics, as well as for preventive intervention.

  6. Trace metal enrichments in nearshore sediments and accumulation in mussels (Modiolus capax) along the eastern coast of Baja California, Mexico: environmental status in 1995.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Barbosa, Albino; Huerta-Diaz, Miguel Angel

    2013-12-15

    The biogeochemistry of trace metals in nearshore sediments and mussel was studied at 15 stations along a 1000 km long transect paralleling the west coast of the Gulf of California (GOC). Total trace metal (Me) and enrichment factor (EF(Me)) values in sediments were low due to negligible anthropogenic influence in the region. Past copper mining, however, near Santa Rosalia caused concentrations of Pb, Mn, Co, Zn and Cu which were 10-3.3×10(3) times greater than the average for the rest of the transect. Mussels also showed relatively high trace metal concentrations at the Santa Rosalia stations, but the variability in the spatial distribution was low and had undefined trends. Our results show that, with the exception of Co and Cu, the contamination caused by the copper mine affected sediments to a greater extent than mussels. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Early Environmental Support and Elementary School Adjustment as Predictors of School Adjustment in Middle Adolescence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Elizabeth A.; Sroufe, L. Alan; Collins, W. Andres; Jimerson, Shane; Weinfield, Nancy; Henninghausen, Katherine; Egeland, Byron; Hyson, Daniel M.; Anderson, Fione; Meyer, Stephanie E.

    1999-01-01

    This longitudinal study examined socioemotional antecedents of adolescent school adjustment. Findings indicated that early and later parental problem-solving support accounted for 13 percent of variance in high school adjustment. Early and later parental problem-solving support, peer competence, externalizing behavior, and emotional…

  8. Titiro Whakamuri, Hoki Whakamua: Respectful Integration of Maori Perspectives within Early Childhood Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritchie, Jenny

    2012-01-01

    The early years are a foundational time for the establishment of dispositions for learning. This paper draws on a recent study in Aotearoa (New Zealand) to illustrate ways educators have been implementing programs, within mainstream early childhood care and education settings, that inclusively offer Maori perspectives on caring for ourselves,…

  9. Unraveling Genetic and Environmental Components of Early Literacy: A Twin Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bus, A. G.; Out, D.

    2009-01-01

    Even though the acquisition of early literacy skills obviously depends on stimuli and incentives in children's environment we may expect that genes define the constraints for acquiring some or all early literacy skills. Therefore behavior genetic analyses were carried out on twin data including 27 identical and 39 same sex dizygotic twins, 4 years…

  10. Early social enrichment provided by communal nest increases resilience to depression-like behavior more in female than in male mice.

    PubMed

    D'Andrea, Ivana; Gracci, Fiorenza; Alleva, Enrico; Branchi, Igor

    2010-12-20

    Early experiences produce persistent changes in behavior and brain function. Being reared in a communal nest (CN), consisting of a single nest where three mouse mothers keep their pups together and share care-giving behavior from birth to weaning, provides an highly stimulating social environment to the developing pup since both mother-offspring and peer-to-peer interactions are markedly increased. Here we show that being reared in a CN affects adult behavior of CD-1 mice in a gender-dependent fashion, with reduced depression-like responses in females and increased anxiety-like behavior in males. In particular, CN females showed higher sucrose preference at baseline condition, drinking more sweet solution compared to female mice reared in a standard laboratory condition (SN). In the isolation test, both SN and CN females showed a reduction in sucrose preference after exposure to isolation stress. However, after 24h, only CN females significantly recovered. Finally, in the forced swim test, compared to SN, CN females spent longer time floating, a behavioral response that in the CN model has been inversely associated with display of endophenotypes of depression. With regard to the emotional response, CN males displayed an increased anxiety-like behavior in comparison to SN, spending less time in the open arms and displaying reduced head-dippings in the elevated plus-maze test. No difference was found in females. Overall, our findings show that gender and early experiences interact in modulating adult behavior. In particular, we show that early experiences modified developmental trajectories shaping adult endophenotypes of depression more markedly in females than in males. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 78 FR 26319 - Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Proposal of Future Early Restoration Projects and Environmental Reviews

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-06

    ... participate in Trustee decision-making. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA); State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, Department of Environmental... important species and their nearshore and offshore habitats in the Gulf of Mexico and along the coastal...

  12. Impact of Early-Exposure Environmental Education on a Child's Selection of Words and Creativity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Reid

    2013-01-01

    Environmental education researchers have long identified a connection between formative play experiences in nature settings and pro-environmental behaviors (i.e., career paths) of their subjects later in life. Most studies have been post-hoc retrospective looks that have not had the ability to assess causation. As more children are removed from…

  13. EARLY LIFE EXPOSURES TO ENVIRONMENTAL COMPOUNDS: LESSONS LEARNED FROM ANIMAL MODELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: This article was an invited submission by the Cornell University Breast Cancer & Environmental Risk Factors group, who publish the newsletter, The Ribbon. A recent paper on low dose effects of an atrazine metabolite mixture in Environmental Health Perspectives by the ...

  14. Measured Environmental Influences on Early Reading: Evidence From an Adoption Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petrill, Stephen A.; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Schatschneider, Christopher; Davis, Chayna

    2005-01-01

    Many studies have examined the relationship between environmental processes and literacy outcomes. However, nearly all of this research has examined biologically related family members living together, thus confounding genetic and environmental influences. The purpose of this study was to address this issue using a sample of 262 adopted children…

  15. The "Natural Start Alliance": Building Collective Impact for Early Childhood Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merrick, Christy

    2014-01-01

    Last year, the North American Association for Environmental Education launched the "Natural Start Alliance," a new initiative to advance environmental education for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Natural Start provides an opportunity for key players to convene, share ideas and resources, and move together toward shared goals. This…

  16. Genetic and environmental influences on non-specific neck pain in early adolescence: A classical twin study

    PubMed Central

    Ståhl, Minna K; El-Metwally, Ashraf A; Mikkelsson, Marja K; Salminen, Jouko J; Pulkkinen, Lea R; Rose, Richard J; Kaprio, Jaakko A

    2012-01-01

    Background Prevalence of neck pain has increased among adolescents. The origins of adult chronic neck pain may lie in late childhood, but for early prevention, more information is needed about its aetiology. We investigated the relative roles of genetic and environmental factors in early adolescent neck pain with a classic twin study. Methods Frequency of neck pain was assessed with a validated pain questionnaire in a population-based sample of nearly 1800 pairs of 11–12-year-old Finnish twins. Twin pair similarity for neck pain was quantified by polychoric correlations, and variance components were estimated with biometric structural equation modelling. Results Prevalence of neck pain reported at least once monthly was 38% and at least once weekly 16%, with no significant differences between gender or zygosity. A greater polychoric correlation in liability to neck pain was found in monozygotic (0.67) than for dizygotic pairs (0.38), suggesting strong genetic influences. Model-fitting indicated that 68% (95% CI 62 to 74) of the variation in liability to neck pain could be attributed to genetic effects, with the remainder attributed to unshared environmental effects. No evidence for sex-specific genetic effects or for sex differences in the magnitude of genetic effects was found. Conclusions Genetic and unique environmental factors seem to play the most important roles in liability to neck pain in early adolescence. Future research should be directed to identifying pathways for genetic influences on neck pain and in exploring effectiveness of interventions that target already identified environmental risk factors. PMID:23139100

  17. Primary differentiation in the early Earth: Nd and Sr isotopic evidence from diamondiferous eclogites for both old depleted and old enriched mantle, Yakutia, Siberia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, Gregory A.; Jerde, Eric A.; Taylor, Lawrence A.; Halliday, Alex N.; Sobolev, Vladimir N.; Sobolev, Nickolai V.; Clayton, Robert N.; Mayeda, Toshiko K.; Deines, Peter

    1993-01-01

    Ancient, stable, continental cratons possess thick, subcontinental-lithospheric mantle 'keels' which favor particularly the emplacement of diamondiferous kimberlites and included peridotites and eclogites. These refractory mantle samples of the roots provide hard constraints on the theories of formation, growth, and evolution of these cratons. Xenoliths containing only primary garnet and clinopyroxene (eclogites), although rare in most kimberlites, can retain the geochemical signatures of their parent protoliths (e.g., subducted oceanic crust, ancient mantle) thus offering the opportunity to address mantle processes which may have taken place at earlier times in the Earth's history. In fact, it has been postulated that some eclogites are residues from the accretion of the early Earth. Nd and Sr isotopic data are presented which may be interpreted as evidence of an early (greater than 4 Ga) mantle differentiation event. The kimberlites of Yakutia are located both marginal and central to the Siberian craton, and a wide variety of xenoliths are present within them. The Siberian mantle samples have received little attention in the western world, largely because suitable suites of Yakutian samples have not been readily available. Importantly, there is evidence that metasomatism of the Siberian lithosphere has been considerably less intense or extensive than for the Kaapvaal craton. Therefore, it should be considerably easier to elicit the igneous/metamorphic histories of Siberian kimberlitic xenoliths. One of the notable features of the Siberian eclogites is the common appearance of diamonds, especially in the Mir and Udachnaya pipes. In all, eight eclogite samples (eight garnet separates and eight clinopyroxene separates) have been analyzed to date on the Udachnaya pipe, seven from our group.

  18. Boron Enrichment in Martian Clay

    PubMed Central

    Nagashima, Kazuhide; Freeland, Stephen J.

    2013-01-01

    We have detected a concentration of boron in martian clay far in excess of that in any previously reported extra-terrestrial object. This enrichment indicates that the chemistry necessary for the formation of ribose, a key component of RNA, could have existed on Mars since the formation of early clay deposits, contemporary to the emergence of life on Earth. Given the greater similarity of Earth and Mars early in their geological history, and the extensive disruption of Earth's earliest mineralogy by plate tectonics, we suggest that the conditions for prebiotic ribose synthesis may be better understood by further Mars exploration. PMID:23762242

  19. By their words ye shall know them: Evidence of genetic selection against general intelligence and concurrent environmental enrichment in vocabulary usage since the mid 19th century

    PubMed Central

    Menie, Michael A. Woodley of; Fernandes, Heitor B. F.; José Figueredo, Aurelio; Meisenberg, Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    It has been theorized that declines in general intelligence (g) due to genetic selection stemming from the inverse association between completed fertility and IQ and the Flynn effect co-occur, with the effects of the latter being concentrated on less heritable non-g sources of intelligence variance. Evidence for this comes from the observation that 19th century populations were more intellectually productive, and also exhibited faster simple reaction times than modern ones, suggesting greater information-processing ability and therefore higher g. This co-occurrence model is tested via examination of historical changes in the utilization frequencies of words from the highly g-loaded WORDSUM test across 5.9 million texts spanning the period 1850–2005. Consistent with predictions, words with higher difficulties (δ parameters from Item Response Theory) and stronger negative correlations between pass rates and completed fertility declined in use over time whereas less difficult and less strongly selected words, increased in use over time, consistent with a Flynn effect stemming in part from the vocabulary enriching effects of increases in population literacy. These findings persisted when explicitly controlled for word age, changing literacy rates and temporal autocorrelation. These trends constitute compelling evidence for the co-occurrence model. PMID:25954211

  20. THE EFFECT OF EARLY ENVIRONMENTAL MANIPULATION ON LOCOMOTOR SENSITIVITY AND METHAMPHETAMINE CONDITIONED PLACE PREFERENCE REWARD

    PubMed Central

    Hensleigh, E.; Pritchard, L. M.

    2014-01-01

    Early life stress leads to several effects on neurological development, affecting health and well-being later in life. Instances of child abuse and neglect are associated with higher rates of depression, risk taking behavior, and an increased risk of drug abuse later in life. This study used repeated neonatal separation of rat pups as a model of early life stress. Rat pups were either handled and weighed as controls or separated for 180 minutes per day during postnatal days 2-8. In adulthood, male and female rats were tested for methamphetamine conditioned place preference reward and methamphetamine induced locomotor activity. Tissue samples were collected and mRNA was quantified for the norepinephrine transporter in the prefrontal cortex and the dopamine transporter in the nucleus accumbens. Results indicated rats given methamphetamine formed a conditioned place preference, but there was no effect of early separation or sex. Separated males showed heightened methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity, but there was no effect of early separation for females. Overall females were more active than males in response to both saline and methamphetamine. No differences in mRNA levels were observed across any conditions. These results suggest early neonatal separation affects methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity in a sex-dependent manner but has no effects on methamphetamine conditioned place preference. PMID:24713150

  1. Small Renal Masses in Close Proximity to the Collecting System and Renal Sinus Are Enriched for Malignancy and High Fuhrman Grade and Should Be Considered for Early Intervention.

    PubMed

    Correa, Andres F; Toussi, Amir; Amin, Milon; Hrebinko, Ronald L; Gayed, Bishoy A; Parwani, Anil V; Maranchie, Jodi K

    2018-02-05

    Recent reports show a correlation between renal tumor radiographic characteristics and pathologic features. We hypothesize that a more central location within the relatively hypoxic renal medulla might confer a more aggressive tumor phenotype. To test this, radiographic tumor characteristics were compared with tumor grade and histology. We retrospectively reviewed renal masses <4 cm in diameter that underwent resection between 2008 and 2013. Tumor location was recorded using standard R.E.N.A.L. Nephrometry Score. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to compare independent anatomic features with incidence of malignancy and high nuclear grade. A total of 334 renal tumors had information available for analysis. Univariate analysis showed that increasing endophycity and proximity to the collecting system (<4 mm) were predictors of malignancy and high-grade features. In multivariate analysis, proximity to the collecting system <4 mm remained the as the only anatomical variable predictive of malignancy (odds ratio [OR], 3.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-12.05; P = .04) and high nuclear grade (OR, 2.81; 95% CI, 1.44-5.51; P = .003). Malignancy and high tumor grade occur with much greater frequency when tumors are located deep in the kidney, in close proximity to the collecting system and renal sinus. Ninety-six percent of small renal masses in this region were cancers and nearly half were Fuhrman Grade 3 or 4, suggesting that these small centrally located tumors should be targeted for early intervention. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The Genetic and Environmental Etiologies of Individual Differences in Early Reading Growth in Australia, the United States, and Scandinavia

    PubMed Central

    Christopher, Micaela E.; Hulslander, Jacqueline; Byrne, Brian; Samuelsson, Stefan; Keenan, Janice M.; Pennington, Bruce; DeFries, John C.; Wadsworth, Sally J.; Willcutt, Erik; Olson, Richard K.

    2013-01-01

    This first cross-country twin study of individual differences in reading growth from post-kindergarten to post-2nd grade analyzed data from 487 twin pairs from the United States, 267 pairs from Australia, and 280 pairs from Scandinavia. Data from two reading measures were fit to biometric latent growth models. Individual differences for the reading measures at post-kindergarten in the U.S. and Australia were due primarily to genetic influences, and to both genetic and shared environmental influences in Scandinavia. In contrast, individual differences in growth generally had large genetic influences in all countries. These results suggest that genetic influences are largely responsible for individual differences in early reading development. In addition, the timing of the start of formal literacy instruction may affect the etiology of individual differences in early reading development, but have only limited influence on the etiology of individual differences in growth. PMID:23665180

  3. Individual to Community-Level Faunal Responses to Environmental Change from a Marine Fossil Record of Early Miocene Global Warming

    PubMed Central

    Belanger, Christina L.

    2012-01-01

    Modern climate change has a strong potential to shift earth systems and biological communities into novel states that have no present-day analog, leaving ecologists with no observational basis to predict the likely biotic effects. Fossil records contain long time-series of past environmental changes outside the range of modern observation, which are vital for predicting future ecological responses, and are capable of (a) providing detailed information on rates of ecological change, (b) illuminating the environmental drivers of those changes, and (c) recording the effects of environmental change on individual physiological rates. Outcrops of Early Miocene Newport Member of the Astoria Formation (Oregon) provide one such time series. This record of benthic foraminiferal and molluscan community change from continental shelf depths spans a past interval environmental change (∼20.3-16.7 mya) during which the region warmed 2.1–4.5°C, surface productivity and benthic organic carbon flux increased, and benthic oxygenation decreased, perhaps driven by intensified upwelling as on the modern Oregon coast. The Newport Member record shows that (a) ecological responses to natural environmental change can be abrupt, (b) productivity can be the primary driver of faunal change during global warming, (c) molluscs had a threshold response to productivity change while foraminifera changed gradually, and (d) changes in bivalve body size and growth rates parallel changes in taxonomic composition at the community level, indicating that, either directly or indirectly through some other biological parameter, the physiological tolerances of species do influence community change. Ecological studies in modern and fossil records that consider multiple ecological levels, environmental parameters, and taxonomic groups can provide critical information for predicting future ecological change and evaluating species vulnerability. PMID:22558424

  4. Long-term effects of early life exposure to environmental estrogens on ovarian function: Role of epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Cruz, Gonzalo; Foster, Warren; Paredes, Alfonso; Yi, Kun Don; Uzumcu, Mehmet

    2014-01-01

    Estrogens play an important role in development and function of the brain and reproductive tract. Accordingly, it is thought that developmental exposure to environmental estrogens can disrupt neural and reproductive tract development potentially resulting in long-term alterations in neurobehavior and reproductive function. Many chemicals have been shown to have estrogenic activity whereas others affect estrogen production and turnover resulting in disruption of estrogen signaling pathways. However, these mechanisms and the concentrations required to induce these effects cannot account for the myriad adverse effects of environmental toxicants on estrogen sensitive target tissues. Hence, alternative mechanisms are thought to underlie the adverse effects documented in experimental animal models and thus could be important to human health. In this review, the epigenetic regulation of gene expression is explored as a potential target of environmental toxicants including estrogenic chemicals. We suggest that toxicant-induced changes in epigenetic signatures are important mechanisms underlying disruption of ovarian follicular development. In addition, we discuss how exposure to environmental estrogens during early life can alter gene expression through effects on epigenetic control potentially leading to permanent changes in ovarian physiology. PMID:25040227

  5. Long-term effects of early-life exposure to environmental oestrogens on ovarian function: role of epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Cruz, G; Foster, W; Paredes, A; Yi, K D; Uzumcu, M

    2014-09-01

    Oestrogens play an important role in development and function of the brain and reproductive tract. Accordingly, it is considered that developmental exposure to environmental oestrogens can disrupt neural and reproductive tract development, potentially resulting in long-term alterations in neurobehaviour and reproductive function. Many chemicals have been shown to have oestrogenic activity, whereas others affect oestrogen production and turnover, resulting in the disruption of oestrogen signalling pathways. However, these mechanisms and the concentrations required to induce these effects cannot account for the myriad adverse effects of environmental toxicants on oestrogen-sensitive target tissues. Hence, alternative mechanisms are assumed to underlie the adverse effects documented in experimental animal models and thus could be important to human health. In this review, the epigenetic regulation of gene expression is explored as a potential target of environmental toxicants including oestrogenic chemicals. We suggest that toxicant-induced changes in epigenetic signatures are important mechanisms underlying the disruption of ovarian follicular development. In addition, we discuss how exposure to environmental oestrogens during early life can alter gene expression through effects on epigenetic control potentially leading to permanent changes in ovarian physiology. © 2014 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  6. The formation of the Milky Way halo and its dwarf satellites; a NLTE-1D abundance analysis. II. Early chemical enrichment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mashonkina, L.; Jablonka, P.; Sitnova, T.; Pakhomov, Yu.; North, P.

    2017-12-01

    We present the non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) abundances of up to 10 chemical species in a sample of 59 very metal-poor (VMP, -4 ≤ [Fe/H] ≾-2) stars in seven dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs) and in the Milky Way (MW) halo. Our results are based on high-resolution spectroscopic datasets and homogeneous and accurate atmospheric parameters determined in Paper I. We show that once the NLTE effects are properly taken into account, all massive galaxies in our sample, that is, the MW halo and the classical dSphs Sculptor, Ursa Minor, Sextans, and Fornax, reveal a similar plateau at [α/Fe] ≃ 0.3 for each of the α-process elements: Mg, Ca, and Ti. We put on a firm ground the evidence for a decline in α/Fe with increasing metallicity in the Boötes I ultra-faint dwarf galaxy (UFD), that is most probably due to the ejecta of type Ia supernovae. For Na/Fe, Na/Mg, and Al/Mg, the MW halo and all dSphs reveal indistinguishable trends with metallicity, suggesting that the processes of Na and Al synthesis are identical in all systems, independent of their mass. The dichotomy in the [Sr/Ba] versus [Ba/H] diagram is observed in the classical dSphs, similarly to the MW halo, calling for two different nucleosynthesis channels for Sr. We show that Sr in the massive galaxies is well correlated with Mg suggesting a strong link to massive stars and that its origin is essentially independent of Ba, for most of the [Ba/H] range. Our three UFDs, that is Boötes I, UMa II, and Leo IV, are depleted in Sr and Ba relative to Fe and Mg, with very similar ratios of [Sr/Mg] ≃-1.3 and [Ba/Mg] ≃-1 on the entire range of their Mg abundances. The subsolar Sr/Ba ratios of Boötes I and UMa II indicate a common r-process origin of their neutron-capture elements. Sculptor remains the classical dSph, in which the evidence for inhomogeneous mixing in the early evolution stage, at [Fe/H] <-2, is the strongest. Full Tables 3 and 4 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to

  7. Bringing It All Together: The Multiple Origins, Skills, and Environmental Supports of Early Literacy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dickinson, David K.; McCabe, Allyssa

    2001-01-01

    Data from three studies investigating factors supporting literacy development of children from low-income families indicate: early levels of achievement are strongly linked to later success; kindergarten vocabulary is strongly reflective of the use of varied vocabulary during meal times; and teacher training in literacy is beneficial to classroom…

  8. Adult Perspectives on Structured vs. Unstructured Play in Early Childhood Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunter, Joshua; Graves, Cherie; Bodensteiner, Anne

    2017-01-01

    In this research report, the authors explore an early childhood center as it transitions from a traditional playground to an outdoor classroom. Herein, the first phase of this qualitative research project is introduced and a central finding of adult perspectives is explored. The tension inherent in the various adult perspectives concerning the…

  9. Environmental Influences on Preschoolers' Physical Activity Levels in Various Early-Learning Facilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vanderloo, Leigh M.; Tucker, Patricia; Johnson, Andrew M.; Burke, Shauna M.; Irwin, Jennifer D.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This study aimed to: (a) compare the physical activity (PA) levels (i.e., moderate-to-vigorous PA [MVPA] and total PA [TPA]) of preschoolers in 3 different early-learning environments (center-based childcare, home-based childcare, and full-day kindergarten [FDK]); and (b) assess which characteristics (e.g., play equipment, policies, etc.)…

  10. Infancy to Early Childhood: Genetic and Environmental Influences on Developmental Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emde, Robert N., Ed.; Hewitt, John K., Ed.

    This book analyzes the MacArthur Longitudinal Twin Study, a collaborative study by leading developmental scientists and behavioral geneticists on the transition from infancy to early childhood. Part 1 of the book describes the twin method and procedures used and introduces the analytic strategies. Parts 2 through 4 present results related to…

  11. Exceptional Children Conference Papers: Environmental Influences in the Early Education of Migrant and Disadvantaged Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Council for Exceptional Children, Arlington, VA.

    Conference papers on early childhood education cover the following topics: individual variation among preschoolers in a cognitive intervention program in low income families presented by Phyllis Levenstein, programmatic research on disadvantaged youth and an ameliorative intervention program by Merle B. Karnes and others, special education and…

  12. Early Adolescents' Perceptions of Relative Risk from 10 Societal and Environmental Hazards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riechard, Donald E.; McGarrity, Jean

    1994-01-01

    In this exploratory study, perceptions of relative risk held by 120 early adolescents (11-14 years) were examined for 10 hazards: wild animals, fire, nuclear energy, pollution, storms, war, car accidents, people, no food, and drugs. Dissonance was found between perceptions of risk and computed risk associated with factual data. (LZ)

  13. 76 FR 78016 - Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Draft Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-15

    ... the U.S Department of Commerce; State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Oil... along the coastal areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Federal and State... of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and...

  14. 77 FR 66626 - Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Draft Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Review

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-06

    ... Agriculture (USDA); U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA); State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, Department of... habitats in the Gulf of Mexico and along the coastal areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and...

  15. 77 FR 23741 - DEEPWATER HORIZON Oil Spill; Final Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-20

    ... behalf of the U.S Department of Commerce; State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority... Gulf of Mexico and along the coastal areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas...; State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission...

  16. 78 FR 8184 - DEEPWATER HORIZON Oil Spill; Final Phase II Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Review

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-05

    ... Protection Agency (USEPA); State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Oil Spill... and their habitats in the Gulf of Mexico and along the coastal areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana... Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and For the State of...

  17. Early Environmental Field Research Career Exploration: An Analysis of Impacts on Precollege Apprentices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flowers, Susan K.; Beyer, Katherine M.; Pérez, Maria; Jeffe, Donna B.

    2016-01-01

    Research apprenticeships offer opportunities for deep understanding of scientific practice, transparency about research careers, and possible transformational effects on precollege youth. We examined two consecutive field-based environmental biology apprenticeship programs designed to deliver realistic career exploration and connections to…

  18. "Trees Have a Soul Too!" Developing Empathy and Environmental Values in Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lithoxoidou, Loukia S.; Georgopoulos, Alexandros D.; Dimitriou, Anastasia Th.; Xenitidou, Sofia Ch.

    2017-01-01

    Coping with environmental crisis cannot but presuppose a change in the values adopted by modern man. Both ecocentric values associated with creating a caring relationship with nature, and the development of empathy, can become vehicles of transformation towards a society based on ecological principles. In connection with these issues, an…

  19. The Genetic-Environmental Etiology of Cognitive School Readiness and Later Academic Achievement in Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lemelin, Jean-Pascal; Boivin, Michel; Forget-Dubois, Nadine; Dionne, Ginette; Seguin, Jean R.; Brendgen, Mara; Vitaro, Frank; Tremblay, Richard E.; Perusse, Daniel

    2007-01-01

    Using a genetic design of 840 60-month-old twins, this study investigated the genetic and environmental contributions to (a) individual differences in four components of cognitive school readiness, (b) the general ability underlying these four components, and (c) the predictive association between school readiness and school achievement. Results…

  20. Early Exposure to Environmental Chaos and Children's Physical and Mental Health.

    PubMed

    Coley, Rebekah Levine; Lynch, Alicia Doyle; Kull, Melissa

    Environmental chaos has been proposed as a central influence impeding children's health and development, with the potential for particularly pernicious effects during the earliest years when children are most susceptible to environmental insults. This study evaluated a high-risk sample, following 495 low-income children living in poor urban neighborhoods from infancy to age 6. Longitudinal multilevel models tested the main tenets of the ecobiodevelopmental theory, finding that: (1) numerous distinct domains of environmental chaos were associated with children's physical and mental health outcomes, including housing disorder, neighborhood disorder, and relationship instability, with no significant results for residential instability; (2) different patterns emerged in relation to the timing of exposure to chaos, with more proximal exposure most strongly associated with children's functioning; and (3) the intensity of chaos also was a robust predictor of child functioning. Contrary to expectations, neither biological vulnerability (proxied through low birth weight status), maternal sensitivity, nor maternal distress moderated the role of chaos. Rather, maternal psychological distress functioned as a pathway through which environmental chaos was associated with children's functioning.

  1. Early Exposure to Environmental Chaos and Children’s Physical and Mental Health

    PubMed Central

    Coley, Rebekah Levine; Lynch, Alicia Doyle; Kull, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Environmental chaos has been proposed as a central influence impeding children’s health and development, with the potential for particularly pernicious effects during the earliest years when children are most susceptible to environmental insults. This study evaluated a high-risk sample, following 495 low-income children living in poor urban neighborhoods from infancy to age 6. Longitudinal multilevel models tested the main tenets of the ecobiodevelopmental theory, finding that: (1) numerous distinct domains of environmental chaos were associated with children’s physical and mental health outcomes, including housing disorder, neighborhood disorder, and relationship instability, with no significant results for residential instability; (2) different patterns emerged in relation to the timing of exposure to chaos, with more proximal exposure most strongly associated with children’s functioning; and (3) the intensity of chaos also was a robust predictor of child functioning. Contrary to expectations, neither biological vulnerability (proxied through low birth weight status), maternal sensitivity, nor maternal distress moderated the role of chaos. Rather, maternal psychological distress functioned as a pathway through which environmental chaos was associated with children’s functioning. PMID:25844016

  2. Environmental enrichment accelerates ocular dominance plasticity in mouse visual cortex whereas transfer to standard cages resulted in a rapid loss of increased plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Löwel, Siegrid

    2017-01-01

    In standard cage (SC) raised mice, experience-dependent ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in the primary visual cortex (V1) rapidly declines with age: in postnatal day 25-35 (critical period) mice, 4 days of monocular deprivation (MD) are sufficient to induce OD-shifts towards the open eye; thereafter, 7 days of MD are needed. Beyond postnatal day 110, even 14 days of MD failed to induce OD-plasticity in mouse V1. In contrast, mice raised in a so-called "enriched environment" (EE), exhibit lifelong OD-plasticity. EE-mice have more voluntary physical exercise (running wheels), and experience more social interactions (bigger housing groups) and more cognitive stimulation (regularly changed labyrinths or toys). Whether experience-dependent shifts of V1-activation happen faster in EE-mice and how long the plasticity promoting effect would persist after transferring EE-mice back to SCs has not yet been investigated. To this end, we used intrinsic signal optical imaging to visualize V1-activation i) before and after MD in EE-mice of different age groups (from 1-9 months), and ii) after transferring mice back to SCs after postnatal day 130. Already after 2 days of MD, and thus much faster than in SC-mice, EE-mice of all tested age groups displayed a significant OD-shift towards the open eye. Transfer of EE-mice to SCs immediately abolished OD-plasticity: already after 1 week of SC-housing and MD, OD-shifts could no longer be visualized. In an attempt to rescue abolished OD-plasticity of these mice, we either administered the anti-depressant fluoxetine (in drinking water) or supplied a running wheel in the SCs. OD-plasticity was only rescued for the running wheel- mice. Altogether our results show that raising mice in less deprived environments like large EE-cages strongly accelerates experience-dependent changes in V1-activation compared to the impoverished SC-raising. Furthermore, preventing voluntary physical exercise of EE-mice in adulthood immediately precludes OD

  3. Environmental enrichment accelerates ocular dominance plasticity in mouse visual cortex whereas transfer to standard cages resulted in a rapid loss of increased plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Löwel, Siegrid

    2017-01-01

    In standard cage (SC) raised mice, experience-dependent ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in the primary visual cortex (V1) rapidly declines with age: in postnatal day 25–35 (critical period) mice, 4 days of monocular deprivation (MD) are sufficient to induce OD-shifts towards the open eye; thereafter, 7 days of MD are needed. Beyond postnatal day 110, even 14 days of MD failed to induce OD-plasticity in mouse V1. In contrast, mice raised in a so-called “enriched environment” (EE), exhibit lifelong OD-plasticity. EE-mice have more voluntary physical exercise (running wheels), and experience more social interactions (bigger housing groups) and more cognitive stimulation (regularly changed labyrinths or toys). Whether experience-dependent shifts of V1-activation happen faster in EE-mice and how long the plasticity promoting effect would persist after transferring EE-mice back to SCs has not yet been investigated. To this end, we used intrinsic signal optical imaging to visualize V1-activation i) before and after MD in EE-mice of different age groups (from 1–9 months), and ii) after transferring mice back to SCs after postnatal day 130. Already after 2 days of MD, and thus much faster than in SC-mice, EE-mice of all tested age groups displayed a significant OD-shift towards the open eye. Transfer of EE-mice to SCs immediately abolished OD-plasticity: already after 1 week of SC-housing and MD, OD-shifts could no longer be visualized. In an attempt to rescue abolished OD-plasticity of these mice, we either administered the anti-depressant fluoxetine (in drinking water) or supplied a running wheel in the SCs. OD-plasticity was only rescued for the running wheel- mice. Altogether our results show that raising mice in less deprived environments like large EE-cages strongly accelerates experience-dependent changes in V1-activation compared to the impoverished SC-raising. Furthermore, preventing voluntary physical exercise of EE-mice in adulthood immediately precludes

  4. Differential enrichment of TTF-I and Tip5 in the T-like promoter structures of the rDNA contribute to the epigenetic response of Cyprinus carpio during environmental adaptation.

    PubMed

    Nardocci, Gino; Simonet, Nicolas G; Navarro, Cristina; Längst, Gernot; Alvarez, Marco

    2016-08-01

    To ensure homeostasis, ectothermic organisms adapt to environmental variations through molecular mechanisms. We previously reported that during the seasonal acclimatization of the common carp Cyprinus carpio, molecular and cellular functions are reprogrammed, resulting in distinctive traits. Importantly, the carp undergoes a drastic rearrangement of nucleolar components during adaptation. This ultrastructural feature reflects a fine modulation of rRNA gene transcription. Specifically, we identified the involvement of the transcription termination factor I (TTF-I) and Tip-5 (member of nucleolar remodeling complex, NoRC) in the control of rRNA transcription. Our results suggest that differential Tip5 enrichment is essential for silencing carp ribosomal genes and that the T0 element is key for regulating the ribosomal gene during the acclimatization process. Interestingly, the expression and content of Tip5 were significantly higher in winter than in summer. Since carp ribosomal gene expression is lower in the winter than in summer, and considering that expression concomitantly occurs with nucleolar ultrastructural changes of the acclimatization process, these results indicate that Tip5 importantly contributes to silencing the ribosomal genes. In conclusion, the current study provides novel evidence on the contributions of TTF-I and NoRC in the environmental reprogramming of ribosomal genes during the seasonal adaptation process in carp.

  5. Early Triassic environmental dynamics and microbial development during the Smithian-Spathian transition (Lower Weber Canyon, Utah, USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosjean, Anne-Sabine; Vennin, Emmanuelle; Olivier, Nicolas; Caravaca, Gwénaël; Thomazo, Christophe; Fara, Emmanuel; Escarguel, Gilles; Bylund, Kevin G.; Jenks, James F.; Stephen, Daniel A.; Brayard, Arnaud

    2018-01-01

    The Early Triassic biotic recovery following the end-Permian mass extinction is well documented in the Smithian-Spathian Thaynes Group of the western USA basin. This sedimentary succession is commonly interpreted as recording harsh conditions of various shallow marine environments where microbial structures flourished. However, recent studies questioned the relevance of the classical view of long-lasting deleterious post-crisis conditions and suggested a rapid diversification of some marine ecosystems during the Early Triassic. Using field and microfacies analyses, we investigate a well-preserved Early Triassic marine sedimentary succession in Lower Weber Canyon (Utah, USA). The identification of microbial structures and their depositional settings provide insights on factors controlling their morphologies and distribution. The Lower Weber Canyon sediments record the vertical evolution of depositional environments from a middle Smithian microbial and dolosiliciclastic peritidal system to a late Smithian-early Spathian bioclastic, muddy mid ramp. The microbial deposits are interpreted as Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) that developed either (1) in a subtidal mid ramp where microbial wrinkles and chips are associated with megaripples characterizing hydrodynamic conditions of lower flow regime, or (2) in protected areas of inter- to subtidal inner ramp where they formed laminae and domal structures. Integrated with other published data, our investigations highlight that the distribution of these microbial structures was influenced by the combined effects of bathymetry, hydrodynamic conditions, lithology of the substrat physico-chemical characteristics of the depositional environment and by the regional relative sea-level fluctuations. Thus, we suggest that local environmental factors and basin dynamics primarily controlled the modalities of microbial development and preservation during the Early Triassic in the western USA basin.

  6. Paleo-environmental conditions of the Early Cambrian Niutitang Formation in the Fenggang area, the southwestern margin of the Yangtze Platform, southern China: Evidence from major elements, trace elements and other proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jin; Tang, Shuheng; Zhang, Songhang; Xi, Zhaodong; Yang, Ning; Yang, Guoqiao; Li, Lei; Li, Yanpeng

    2018-06-01

    The Precambrian/Cambrian transition was a key time in Earth history, especially for marine biological evolution and oceanic chemistry. The redox-stratification with oxic shallow water and anoxic (even euxinic) deeper water in the Early Cambrian Yangtze Sea, which gradually became completely oxygenated, has been suggested as a possible trigger for the "Cambrian explosion" of biological diversity. However, for some areas in northern Guizhou where the exploration and research are lacking, identifying this pattern of redox-stratification by paleo-environmental analysis from borehole data is still in need. Here, we report a remarkable variation range in trace elements (Mo, V, U, Ni, Th, Co, Sc, Zn and Cu), molar Corg:P ratios and pyrite morphology from 27 core samples from one new drill hole (XY1, located in the Fenggang area, northern Guizhou) on the Yangtze Platform, South China. High levels of Ba (from 3242 ppm to 33,800 ppm) and total organic carbon (TOC; from 4% to 9.36%) in 15 core samples in the Lower Member (LM) of the Niutitang Formation indicated elevated primary productivity in the study area. Redox change was recorded based on enrichment factors (EFs) for RSTEs (Mo, U, and V), redox proxies (V/(V + Ni), Ni/Co, V/Sc and Th/U), Corg:P ratios and particle size of framboidal pyrite. These signatures demonstrate that the LM was deposited under anoxic conditions with sulfidic episodes, whereas the Upper Member (UM) of the Niutitang Formation was deposited under suboxic/oxic conditions with intermittently anoxic episodes. Mo/TOC ratios (from 3.72 to 39.86, mean 18.76) suggest weak-moderate water mass restriction. Mo-U covariation patterns (strong but variable enrichment of Mo and U; MoEF ranging from 31.45 to 257.97; UEF ranging from 4.68 to 39.07) in the LM show alternation of particulate shuttling and redox conditions occurred in the Early Cambrian Yangtze Sea, whereas Mo-U covariation patterns (moderate Mo enrichment but depletion or non-enrichment of U; mean Mo

  7. The Environmental Impact of Intra-Cluster Medium on the Interstellar Medium in Early Type Galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trinchieri, Ginevra

    1993-01-01

    Draft versions of three articles submitted for publication are presented. The first two articles address high resolution X-ray images of early type galaxies observed with the ROSAT HRI and PSPC. Data for NGC 1553 and NGC 5846 indicate that the emission is highly irregular, with interesting features at different scales. The gas temperatures also vary both with the galactocentric radius and in correspondence to regions of higher emission and denser material. Strikingly similar features are observed in the X-ray and H-alpha morphologies of NGC 1553 and NGC 5846, while smooth, regular isophotes are observed in NGC 4649 at both wavelengths. The third article addresses ROSAT PSPC observations of 5 X-ray bright early type galaxies.

  8. Enrichment of intergalactic matter.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silk, J.; Siluk, R. S.

    1972-01-01

    The primordial gas out of which the Galaxy condensed may have been significantly enriched in heavy elements. A specific mechanism of enrichment is described, in which quasi-stellar sources eject enriched matter into the intergalactic medium. This matter is recycled through successive generations of these sources, and is progressively enriched. The enriched intergalactic matter is accreted by the protogalaxy and we find, for rates of mass ejection by quasi-stellar sources equal to about one solar mass per year in heavy elements, that this mechanism can account for the heavy-element abundances in the oldest Population II stars. Expressions are given for the degree of enrichment of the intergalactic gas as a function of redshift, and we show that our hypothesis implies that the present density of intergalactic gas must be at least a factor 3 larger than the mean density in galaxies at the present epoch.

  9. Eco-Efficient Process Improvement at the Early Development Stage: Identifying Environmental and Economic Process Hotspots for Synergetic Improvement Potential.

    PubMed

    Piccinno, Fabiano; Hischier, Roland; Seeger, Stefan; Som, Claudia

    2018-05-15

    We present here a new eco-efficiency process-improvement method to highlight combined environmental and costs hotspots of the production process of new material at a very early development stage. Production-specific and scaled-up results for life cycle assessment (LCA) and production costs are combined in a new analysis to identify synergetic improvement potentials and trade-offs, setting goals for the eco-design of new processes. The identified hotspots and bottlenecks will help users to focus on the relevant steps for improvements from an eco-efficiency perspective and potentially reduce their associated environmental impacts and production costs. Our method is illustrated with a case study of nanocellulose. The results indicate that the production route should start with carrot pomace, use heat and solvent recovery, and deactivate the enzymes with bleach instead of heat. To further improve the process, the results show that focus should be laid on the carrier polymer, sodium alginate, and the production of the GripX coating. Overall, the method shows that the underlying LCA scale-up framework is valuable for purposes beyond conventional LCA studies and is applicable at a very early stage to provide researchers with a better understanding of their production process.

  10. Early environmental predictors of the affective and interpersonal constructs of psychopathy.

    PubMed

    Daversa, Maria T

    2010-02-01

    Early childhood maltreatment (i.e., physical, sexual, emotional abuse) and caregiver disruptions are hypothesized to be instrumental in altering the neurobiology of the brain, particularly the amygdala, and contributing to the development of the affective deficits examined in individuals with psychopathy. Exposure to early untoward life events in models of rodent and nonhuman primates changes the neurobiology of the stress response. It is hypothesized that these changes may permanently shape brain regions that mediate stress and emotion and therefore play a role in the etiology of affective disorders in humans. The significance of experience (e.g., the intensity/severity, chronicity/duration, and developmental timing of experiences) and how the accompanying changes in the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical system affect alterations in the amygdala are discussed as critical contributors to the etiology of psychopathy. A model is proposed in which early maltreatment experiences contribute to alterations to the amygdala and produce a blunted or dissociative response to stress, a key factor in the affective deficits observed in psychopaths.

  11. Widespread covariation of early environmental exposures and trait-associated polygenic variation.

    PubMed

    Krapohl, E; Hannigan, L J; Pingault, J-B; Patel, H; Kadeva, N; Curtis, C; Breen, G; Newhouse, S J; Eley, T C; O'Reilly, P F; Plomin, R

    2017-10-31

    Although gene-environment correlation is recognized and investigated by family studies and recently by SNP-heritability studies, the possibility that genetic effects on traits capture environmental risk factors or protective factors has been neglected by polygenic prediction models. We investigated covariation between trait-associated polygenic variation identified by genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and specific environmental exposures, controlling for overall genetic relatedness using a genomic relatedness matrix restricted maximum-likelihood model. In a UK-representative sample ( n = 6,710), we find widespread covariation between offspring trait-associated polygenic variation and parental behavior and characteristics relevant to children's developmental outcomes-independently of population stratification. For instance, offspring genetic risk for schizophrenia was associated with paternal age ( R 2 = 0.002; P = 1e-04), and offspring education-associated variation was associated with variance in breastfeeding ( R 2 = 0.021; P = 7e-30), maternal smoking during pregnancy ( R 2 = 0.008; P = 5e-13), parental smacking ( R 2 = 0.01; P = 4e-15), household income ( R 2 = 0.032; P = 1e-22), watching television ( R 2 = 0.034; P = 5e-47), and maternal education ( R 2 = 0.065; P = 3e-96). Education-associated polygenic variation also captured covariation between environmental exposures and children's inattention/hyperactivity, conduct problems, and educational achievement. The finding that genetic variation identified by trait GWASs partially captures environmental risk factors or protective factors has direct implications for risk prediction models and the interpretation of GWAS findings.

  12. The Environmental Protection Agency in the Early Trump Administration: Prelude to Regulatory Capture.

    PubMed

    Dillon, Lindsey; Sellers, Christopher; Underhill, Vivian; Shapiro, Nicholas; Ohayon, Jennifer Liss; Sullivan, Marianne; Brown, Phil; Harrison, Jill; Wylie, Sara

    2018-04-01

    We explore and contextualize changes at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the first 6 months of the Trump administration, arguing that its pro-business direction is enabling a form of regulatory capture. We draw on news articles, public documents, and a rapid response, multisited interview study of current and retired EPA employees to (1) document changes associated with the new administration, (2) contextualize and compare the current pro-business makeover with previous ones, and (3) publicly convey findings in a timely manner. The lengthy, combined experience of interviewees with previous Republican and Democratic administrations made them valuable analysts for assessing recent shifts at the Scott Pruitt-led EPA and the extent to which these shifts steer the EPA away from its stated mission to "protect human and environmental health." Considering the extent of its pro-business leanings in the absence of mitigating power from the legislative branch, we conclude that its regulatory capture has become likely-more so than at similar moments in the agency's 47-year history. The public and environmental health consequences of regulatory capture of the EPA will probably be severe and far-reaching.

  13. The Environmental Protection Agency in the Early Trump Administration: Prelude to Regulatory Capture

    PubMed Central

    Sellers, Christopher; Underhill, Vivian; Shapiro, Nicholas; Ohayon, Jennifer Liss; Sullivan, Marianne; Brown, Phil; Harrison, Jill; Wylie, Sara

    2018-01-01

    We explore and contextualize changes at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the first 6 months of the Trump administration, arguing that its pro-business direction is enabling a form of regulatory capture. We draw on news articles, public documents, and a rapid response, multisited interview study of current and retired EPA employees to (1) document changes associated with the new administration, (2) contextualize and compare the current pro-business makeover with previous ones, and (3) publicly convey findings in a timely manner. The lengthy, combined experience of interviewees with previous Republican and Democratic administrations made them valuable analysts for assessing recent shifts at the Scott Pruitt–led EPA and the extent to which these shifts steer the EPA away from its stated mission to “protect human and environmental health.” Considering the extent of its pro-business leanings in the absence of mitigating power from the legislative branch, we conclude that its regulatory capture has become likely—more so than at similar moments in the agency’s 47-year history. The public and environmental health consequences of regulatory capture of the EPA will probably be severe and far-reaching. PMID:29698086

  14. Associations of Early Life Exposures and Environmental Factors With Asthma Among Children in Rural and Urban Areas of Guangdong, China.

    PubMed

    Feng, Mulin; Yang, Zhaowei; Pan, Liying; Lai, Xuxin; Xian, Mo; Huang, Xiafei; Chen, Yan; Schröder, Paul C; Roponen, Marjut; Schaub, Bianca; Wong, Gary W K; Li, Jing

    2016-04-01

    Environmental factors may play important roles in asthma, but findings have been inconsistent. The goal of this study was to determine the associations between early life exposures, environmental factors, and asthma in urban and rural children in southeast China. A screening questionnaire survey was conducted in 7,164 children from urban Guangzhou and 6,087 from rural Conghua. In the second stage, subsamples of 854 children (419 from Guangzhou, 435 from Conghua) were recruited for a case-control study that included a detailed questionnaire enquiring on family history, early life environmental exposures, dietary habits, and laboratory tests (including histamine airway provocation testing, skin prick tests, and serum antibody analyses). House dust samples from 76 Guangzhou families and 80 Conghua families were obtained to analyze levels of endotoxins, house dust mites, and cockroach allergens. According to the screening survey, the prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma was lower in children from Conghua (3.4%) than in those from Guangzhou (6.9%) (P < .001). A lower percentage of asthma was reported in rural subjects compared with urban subjects (2.8% vs. 29.4%; P < .001) in the case-control study. Atopy (OR, 1.91 [95% CI, 1.58-2.29]), parental atopy (OR, 2.49 [95% CI, 1.55-4.01]), hospitalization before 3 years of age (OR, 2.54 [95% CI, 1.37-4.70]), high consumption of milk products (OR, 1.68 [95% CI, 1.03-2.73]), and dust Dermatophagoides farinae group 1 allergen (OR, 1.71 [95% CI, 1.34-2.19]) were positively associated with asthma. Living in a crop-farming family at < 1 year of age (OR, 0.15 [95% CI, 0.08-0.32]) and dust endotoxin levels (OR, 0.69 [95% CI, 0.50-0.95]) were negatively associated with asthma. Rural children from an agricultural background exhibited a reduced risk of asthma. Early life exposure to crop farming and high environmental endotoxin levels might protect the children from asthma in southern China. Copyright © 2016 American College of

  15. Development of asthmatic inflammation in mice following early-life exposure to ambient environmental particulates and chronic allergen challenge

    PubMed Central

    Herbert, Cristan; Siegle, Jessica S.; Shadie, Alexander M.; Nikolaysen, Stina; Garthwaite, Linda; Hansbro, Nicole G.; Foster, Paul S.; Kumar, Rakesh K.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Childhood exposure to environmental particulates increases the risk of development of asthma. The underlying mechanisms might include oxidant injury to airway epithelial cells (AEC). We investigated the ability of ambient environmental particulates to contribute to sensitization via the airways, and thus to the pathogenesis of childhood asthma. To do so, we devised a novel model in which weanling BALB/c mice were exposed to both ambient particulate pollutants and ovalbumin for sensitization via the respiratory tract, followed by chronic inhalational challenge with a low mass concentration of the antigen. We also examined whether these particulates caused oxidant injury and activation of AEC in vitro. Furthermore, we assessed the potential benefit of minimizing oxidative stress to AEC through the period of sensitization and challenge by dietary intervention. We found that characteristic features of asthmatic inflammation developed only in animals that received particulates at the same time as respiratory sensitization, and were then chronically challenged with allergen. However, these animals did not develop airway hyper-responsiveness. Ambient particulates induced epithelial injury in vitro, with evidence of oxidative stress and production of both pro-inflammatory cytokines and Th2-promoting cytokines such as IL-33. Treatment of AEC with an antioxidant in vitro inhibited the pro-inflammatory cytokine response to these particulates. Ambient particulates also induced pro-inflammatory cytokine expression following administration to weanling mice. However, early-life dietary supplementation with antioxidants did not prevent the development of an asthmatic inflammatory response in animals that were exposed to particulates, sensitized and challenged. We conclude that injury to airway epithelium by ambient environmental particulates in early life is capable of promoting the development of an asthmatic inflammatory response in sensitized and antigen-challenged mice

  16. Environmental opportunities questionnaire: development of a measure of the environment supporting early motor development in the first year of life.

    PubMed

    Doralp, Samantha; Bartlett, Doreen J

    2013-09-01

    The development and testing of a measure evaluating the quality and variability in the home environment as it relates to the motor development of infants during the first year of life. A sample of 112 boys and 95 girls with a mean age of 7.1 months (SD 1.8) and GA of 39.6 weeks (SD 1.5) participated in the study. The measurement development process was divided into three phases: measurement development (item generation or selection of items from existing measurement tools), pilot testing to determine acceptability and feasibility to parents, and exploratory factor analysis to organize items into meaningful concepts. Test-retest reliability and internal consistency were also determined. The environmental opportunities questionnaire (EOQ) is a feasible 21-item measure comprised of three factors including opportunities in the play space, sensory variety and parental encouragement. Overall, test-retest reliability was 0.92 (CI 0.84-0.96) and the internal consistency is 0.79. The EOQ emphasizes quality of the environment and access to equipment and toys that have the potential to facilitate early motor development. The preliminary analyses reported here suggest more work could be done on the EOQ to strengthen its use for research or clinical purposes; however, it is adequate for use in its current form. Implications for Rehabilitation New and feasible 21-item questionnaire that enables identification of malleable environmental factors that serve as potential points of intervention for children that are not developing typically. Therapeutic tool for use by therapists to inform and guide discussions with caregivers about potential influences of environmental, social and attitudinal factors in their child's early development.

  17. Massive Galaxies Are Larger in Dense Environments: Environmental Dependence of Mass-Size Relation of Early-type Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, Yongmin; Im, Myungshin; Kim, Jae-Woo

    2017-01-01

    Under the Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) cosmological models, massive galaxies are expected to be larger in denser environments through frequent hierarchical mergers with other galaxies. Yet, observational studies of low-redshift early-type galaxies have shown no such trend, standing as a puzzle to solve during the past decade. We analyzed 73,116 early-type galaxies at 0.1 ≤ z < 0.15, adopting a robust nonparametric size measurement technique and extending the analysis to many massive galaxies. We find for the first time that local early-type galaxies heavier than 1011.2 M⊙ show a clear environmental dependence in mass-size relation, in such a way that galaxies are as much as 20%-40% larger in the densest environments than in underdense environments. Splitting the sample into the brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) and non-BCGs does not affect the result. This result agrees with the ΛCDM cosmological simulations and suggests that mergers played a significant role in the growth of massive galaxies in dense environments as expected in theory.

  18. General and Specific Predictors of Nicotine and Alcohol Dependence in Early Adulthood: Genetic and Environmental Influences

    PubMed Central

    Samek, Diana R; Keyes, Margaret A; Hicks, Brian M; Bailey, Jennifer; McGue, Matt; Iacono, William G

    2014-01-01

    Objective: This study builds on previous work delineating a hierarchical model of family environmental risk in relation to a hierarchical model of externalizing disorders (EXTs) by evaluating for gene–environment interplay in these relationships. The associations between parent–child relationship quality (conflict, bonding, and management) and substance-specific adolescent family environments (parental/sibling tobacco/alcohol use) in relation to young adult EXTs (age ∼22 years nicotine, alcohol, and other drug dependence; antisocial and risky sexual behavior) were evaluated. Method: The sample included 533 adopted offspring and 323 biological offspring. Because adopted youth do not share genes with their parents, a significant association between parent–child relationship quality and EXTs would provide evidence against passive gene–environment correlation (rGE). Significant associations between parental tobacco/alcohol use in relation to offspring nicotine/alcohol dependence in the adopted offspring support common environmental influence. Significant associations detected for the biological offspring only suggest common genetic influence. Results: For both adoptive and biological offspring, there was a significant association between parent–child relationship quality and EXTs. Parental tobacco/alcohol use was unrelated to EXTs. Sibling tobacco/alcohol use was related to EXTs, but only for the biological siblings. Parental tobacco use was associated with the residual variance in nicotine dependence in adopted offspring. Conclusions: Findings replicate a long-term influence of adolescent parent–child relationship quality on adult EXTs. Findings extend previous research by providing evidence against passive rGE in this association. The association between parental tobacco use and adult nicotine dependence appears to be environmentally mediated, but caution is warranted as we found this relationship only for adopted youth. PMID:24988261

  19. General and specific predictors of nicotine and alcohol dependence in early adulthood: genetic and environmental influences.

    PubMed

    Samek, Diana R; Keyes, Margaret A; Hicks, Brian M; Bailey, Jennifer; McGue, Matt; Iacono, William G

    2014-07-01

    This study builds on previous work delineating a hierarchical model of family environmental risk in relation to a hierarchical model of externalizing disorders (EXTs) by evaluating for gene-environment interplay in these relationships. The associations between parent-child relationship quality (conflict, bonding, and management) and substance-specific adolescent family environments (parental/sibling tobacco/alcohol use) in relation to young adult EXTs (age ∼22 years nicotine, alcohol, and other drug dependence; antisocial and risky sexual behavior) were evaluated. The sample included 533 adopted offspring and 323 biological offspring. Because adopted youth do not share genes with their parents, a significant association between parent-child relationship quality and EXTs would provide evidence against passive gene-environment correlation (rGE). Significant associations between parental tobacco/alcohol use in relation to offspring nicotine/alcohol dependence in the adopted offspring support common environmental influence. Significant associations detected for the biological offspring only suggest common genetic influence. For both adoptive and biological offspring, there was a significant association between parent-child relationship quality and EXTs. Parental tobacco/alcohol use was unrelated to EXTs. Sibling tobacco/alcohol use was related to EXTs, but only for the biological siblings. Parental tobacco use was associated with the residual variance in nicotine dependence in adopted offspring. Findings replicate a long-term influence of adolescent parent-child relationship quality on adult EXTs. Findings extend previous research by providing evidence against passive rGE in this association. The association between parental tobacco use and adult nicotine dependence appears to be environmentally mediated, but caution is warranted as we found this relationship only for adopted youth.

  20. Genetic and environmental sources of covariation between early drinking and adult functioning.

    PubMed

    Waldron, Jordan Sparks; Malone, Stephen M; McGue, Matt; Iacono, William G

    2017-08-01

    The vast majority of individuals initiate alcohol consumption for the first time in adolescence. Given the widespread nature of its use and evidence that adolescents may be especially vulnerable to its effects, there is concern about the long-term detrimental impact of adolescent drinking on adult functioning. While some researchers have suggested that genetic processes may confound the relationship, the mechanisms linking drinking and later adjustment remain unclear. The current study utilized a genetically informed sample and biometric modeling to examine the nature of the familial influences on this association and identify the potential for genetic confounding. The sample was drawn from the Minnesota Twin Family Study (MTFS), a longitudinal study consisting of 2,764 twins assessed in 2 cohorts at regular follow-ups from age 17 to age 29 (older cohort) or age 11 to age 29 (younger cohort). A broad range of adult measures was included assessing substance use, antisocial behavior, personality, socioeconomic status, and social functioning. A bivariate Cholesky decomposition was used to examine the common genetic and environmental influences on adolescent drinking and each of the measures of adult adjustment. The results revealed that genetic factors and nonshared environmental influences were generally most important in explaining the relationship between adolescent drinking and later functioning. While the presence of nonshared environmental influences on the association are not inconsistent with a causal impact of adolescent drinking, the findings suggest that many of the adjustment issues associated with adolescent alcohol consumption are best understood as genetically influenced vulnerabilities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Maternal depressive symptoms and early childhood cognitive development: a review of putative environmental mediators.

    PubMed

    Ahun, Marilyn N; Côté, Sylvana M

    2018-06-06

    Despite the abundance of research investigating the associations between maternal depressive symptoms (MDS) and children's cognitive development, little is known about the putative mechanisms through which depressive symptoms are associated with children's cognitive development. The aim of this review was to summarize the literature on family mediators (i.e., maternal parenting behaviors, mother-child interactions, and family stress) involved in this association in early childhood. The review includes seven studies, five longitudinal and two cross-sectional, which tested putative mediators of the association between MDS and children's cognitive development. Studies were selected from online databases (PubMed, PsycNet) and manual searches. Only studies which quantitatively assessed associations between MDS in the postnatal period and child cognitive development in early childhood (i.e., 0-5 years) and included mediator variables were included in the review. Six out of seven studies identified mediating variables. The mediators included maternal responsiveness, parenting style, family dysfunction, the quality of the home environment, and maternal caregiving practices. Different mediators were identified across the reviewed studies. Maternal depressive symptoms are partly associated with child cognitive development via family processes and parenting practices. Various mediating processes are at play. Further research is needed on the role of maternal and paternal mental health and gene-environment correlations in this association. A better understanding of the mediating pathways is needed for the design of preventative intervention targeting specific family processes.

  2. Integrated Sr isotope variations and global environmental changes through the Late Permian to early Late Triassic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Haijun; Wignall, Paul B.; Tong, Jinnan; Song, Huyue; Chen, Jing; Chu, Daoliang; Tian, Li; Luo, Mao; Zong, Keqing; Chen, Yanlong; Lai, Xulong; Zhang, Kexin; Wang, Hongmei

    2015-08-01

    New 87Sr/86Sr data based on 127 well-preserved and well-dated conodont samples from South China were measured using a new technique (LA-MC-ICPMS) based on single conodont albid crown analysis. These reveal a spectacular climb in seawater 87Sr/86Sr ratios during the Early Triassic that was the most rapid of the Phanerozoic. The rapid increase began in Bed 25 of the Meishan section (GSSP of the Permian-Triassic boundary, PTB), and coincided closely with the latest Permian extinction. Modeling results indicate that the accelerated rise of 87Sr/86Sr ratios can be ascribed to a rapid increase (>2.8×) of riverine flux of Sr caused by intensified weathering. This phenomenon could in turn be related to an intensification of warming-driven runoff and vegetation die-off. Continued rise of 87Sr/86Sr ratios in the Early Triassic indicates that continental weathering rates were enhanced >1.9 times compared to those of the Late Permian. Continental weathering rates began to decline in the middle-late Spathian, which may have played a role in the decrease of oceanic anoxia and recovery of marine benthos. The 87Sr/86Sr values decline gradually into the Middle Triassic to an equilibrium values around 1.2 times those of the Late Permian level, suggesting that vegetation coverage did not attain pre-extinction levels thereby allowing higher runoff.

  3. Social Environmental Moderators of Long-term Functional Outcomes of Early Childhood Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Wade, Shari L.; Zhang, Nanhua; Yeates, Keith Owen; Stancin, Terry; Taylor, H. Gerry

    2017-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) contributes to impairments in behavior and academic performance. However, the long-term effects of early childhood TBI on functioning across settings remain poorly understood. OBJECTIVE To examine the long-term functional outcomes of early childhood TBI relative to early childhood orthopedic injuries (OIs). We also examine the moderating role of the social environment as