Environmental enrichment restores CA1 hippocampal LTP and reduces severity of seizures in epileptic mice

Exp Neurol. 2014 Nov:261:320-7. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.05.010. Epub 2014 May 20.


We have analyzed the effects of environmental enrichment (EE) in a seizure-prone mouse model in which the genetic disruption of the presynaptic protein Bassoon leads to structural and functional alterations in the hippocampus and causes early spontaneous seizures mimicking human neurodevelopmental disorders. One-month EE starting at P21 reduced seizure severity, preserved long-term potentiation (LTP) and paired-pulse synaptic responses in the hippocampal CA1 neuronal population and prevented the reduction of spine density and dendrite branching of pyramidal neurons. These data demonstrate that EE exerts its therapeutic effect by normalizing multiple aspects of hippocampal function and provide experimental support for its use in the optimization of existent treatments.

Keywords: Bassoon; Environmental enrichment; Epilepsy; Hippocampus; Neurodevelopmental disorder; Synaptic plasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Biophysics
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Environment*
  • Epilepsy / genetics
  • Epilepsy / pathology*
  • Epilepsy / rehabilitation*
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists / pharmacology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Long-Term Potentiation / drug effects
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mutation / genetics
  • N-Methylaspartate / pharmacology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid / pharmacology


  • Bsn protein, mouse
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid