Environmental Enrichment During Adolescence Mitigates Cognitive Deficits and Alcohol Vulnerability due to Continuous and Intermittent Perinatal Alcohol Exposure in Adult Rats.
Front. Behav. Neurosci.. 2020-09-25; 14:
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1. Front Behav Neurosci. 2020 Sep 25;14:583122. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2020.583122.
Environmental Enrichment During Adolescence Mitigates Cognitive Deficits and
Alcohol Vulnerability due to Continuous and Intermittent Perinatal Alcohol
Exposure in Adult Rats.
Brancato A(1), Castelli V(2), Lavanco G(3)(4)(5), Cannizzaro C(1).
(1)Department of Health Promotion, Mother and Child Care, Internal Medicine and
Medical Specialties of Excellence “G. D’Alessandro”, University of Palermo,
(2)Department of Biomedicine, Neuroscience and Advanced Diagnostics, University
of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
(3)INSERM U1215, NeuroCentre Magendie, Bordeaux, France.
(4)University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.
(5)Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Section of
Pharmacology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
Perinatal alcohol exposure affects ontogenic neurodevelopment, causing physical
and functional long-term abnormalities with limited treatment options. This study
investigated long-term consequences of continuous and intermittent maternal
alcohol drinking on behavioral readouts of cognitive function and alcohol
vulnerability in the offspring. The effects of environmental enrichment (EE)
during adolescence were also evaluated. Female rats underwent continuous alcohol
drinking (CAD)-or intermittent alcohol drinking paradigm (IAD), along
pregestation, gestation, and lactation periods-equivalent to the whole
gestational period in humans. Male offspring were reared in standard conditions
or EE until adulthood and were then assessed for declarative memory in the novel
object recognition test; spatial learning, cognitive flexibility, and reference
memory in the Morris water maze (MWM); alcohol consumption and relapse by a
two-bottle choice paradigm. Our data show that perinatal CAD decreased locomotor
activity, exploratory behavior, and declarative memory with respect to controls,
whereas perinatal IAD displayed impaired declarative memory and spatial learning
and memory. Moreover, both perinatal alcohol-exposed offspring showed higher
vulnerability to alcohol consummatory behavior than controls, albeit perinatal
IAD rats showed a greater alcohol consumption and relapse behavior with respect
to perinatal-CAD progeny. EE ameliorated declarative memory in perinatal CAD,
while it mitigated spatial learning and reference memory impairment in
perinatal-IAD progeny. In addition, EE decreased vulnerability to alcohol in both
control and perinatal alcohol-exposed rats. Maternal alcohol consumption produces
drinking pattern-related long-term consequences on cognition and vulnerability to
alcohol in the offspring. However, increased positive environmental stimuli
during adolescence may curtail the detrimental effects of developmental alcohol
Copyright © 2020 Brancato, Castelli, Lavanco and Cannizzaro.