MSK1's Role in Lifespan Cognitive Benefits of Enriched Experience | Aging-US



July 21, 2023

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  • Aging-US published this research paper on July 10, 2023 in Volume 15, Issue 13, entitled, “MSK1 is required for the beneficial synaptic and cognitive effects of enriched experience across the lifespan" by researchers from the School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK; School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK; School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK. DOI - Corresponding author - Bruno G. Frenguelli - Abstract Positive experiences, such as social interaction, cognitive training and physical exercise, have been shown to ameliorate some of the harms to cognition associated with ageing. Animal models of positive interventions, commonly known as environmental enrichment, strongly influence neuronal morphology and synaptic function and enhance cognitive performance. While the profound structural and functional benefits of enrichment have been appreciated for decades, little is known as to how the environment influences neurons to respond and adapt to these positive sensory experiences. We show that adult and aged male wild-type mice that underwent a 10-week environmental enrichment protocol demonstrated improved performance in a variety of behavioural tasks, including those testing spatial working and spatial reference memory, and an enhancement in hippocampal LTP. Aged animals in particular benefitted from enrichment, performing spatial memory tasks at levels similar to healthy adult mice. Many of these benefits, including in gene expression, were absent in mice with a mutation in an enzyme, MSK1, which is activated by BDNF, a growth factor implicated in rodent and human cognition. We conclude that enrichment is beneficial across the lifespan and that MSK1 is required for the full extent of these experience-induced improvements of cognitive abilities, synaptic plasticity and gene expression. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - Subscribe for free publication alerts from Aging - Keywords - aging, cognitive reserve, synaptic plasticity, anxiety, spatial memory, LTP About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at​​ and connect with us: SoundCloud - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube - LinkedIn - Pinterest - Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM

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