Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: To assess the effects of postweaning social isolation, an enriched environment, and exercise training on learning and memory functions in rats, as well as their relation with the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) concentrations in the hippocampus. Materials and methods: Randomly assigned into 4 groups were 35 female postweaning rats (25 day old), as the control (C), social isolation (SI), enriched environment (EE), and exercise training (E) groups. The SI and the EE groups were housed under their specific conditions and the E and the C groups were housed under standard conditions for 6 weeks. The rats in the E group swam for 60 min/ day, 5 days a week, for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, the rats were evaluated in the Morris water maze (MWM). Following MWM assessment, hippocampal tissue and blood samples were taken to measure the BDNF and NGF. Results: According to the results of the MWM probe trial session, the thigmotaxis behavior was higher in the SI group compared to the C group (p ? 0,05). Furthermore, the time spent in the target quadrant (quadrant with an escape platform) was lower in the SI group compared to the EE group (p ? 0.05). The BDNF and NGF levels in the hippocampus and plasma were not different between the groups (p ? 0.05). Conclusion: Postweaning social isolation may increase thigmotaxis behaviors. Postweaning social isolation, enriched environment, and exercise training did not affect the spatial learning, memory function, hippocampal BDNF or NGF levels in female rats.


Social isolation, environment, exercise training, Morris water maze test, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor

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