Increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA in rat hippocampus is associated with improved spatial memory and enriched environment

Neurosci Lett. 1992 Apr 13;138(1):153-6. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(92)90494-r.


Enriched environment has been shown to enhance learning and memory and to induce morphological changes in the hippocampus. We report that rats housed in an enriched environment showed improved performance in the Morris water maze and decreased spontaneous motor activity. Exposure to behavioural tests increased expression of the mRNA that encodes brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus. This was not seen when rats subjected to impoverished housing were tested suggesting that environmental history of the animal is of importance to induce expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus that may promote neuronal changes related to learning and memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Learning
  • Memory*
  • Motor Activity*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Social Isolation
  • Space Perception
  • Stereotyped Behavior*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Sulfur Radioisotopes


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sulfur Radioisotopes
  • Corticosterone