Housing conditions influence motor functions and exploratory behavior following focal damage of the rat brain
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The present study investigated influence of housing conditions on motor functions recovery and exploratory behavior following ouabain focal brain lesion in the rat. During 30 days post-surgery period rats were housed individually in standard cages (IS) or in groups in enriched environment (EE) and behaviorally tested. The EE lesioned rats showed enhanced recovery from motor impairments in walking beam task, comparing with IS animals. Contrarily, in the open field IS rats (both lesioned and control) traveled a longer distance, showed less habituation and spent less time resting at the home base than the EE animals. Unlike the EE lesioned animals, the lesioned IS rats, presented a tendency to hyperactivity in postinjury period. Turning tendency was significantly affected by unilateral brain lesion only in the EE rats. We can conclude that housing conditions distinctly affected the rat.s behavior in classical laboratory tests.
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Elzbieta Gornicka-Pawlak, 1Neurorepair Department, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland