Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.476, No.4, 635-640, 2016
Effects of environmental enrichment in aged mice on anxiety-like behaviors and neuronal nitric oxide synthase expression in the brain
Previous studies have shown that an enriched environment (EE) has an important effect on brain function via the neuronal nitric oxide synthase/nitric oxide (nNOS/NO) pathway in young and aged animals. However, whether EE induces its effect by altering nNOS expression levels and whether it lowers anxiety-like behaviors in aged mice remains unclear. Here, we show that nNOS expression levels increased with age in the hippocampus and cerebellum in aged mice, but not in the cortex. Moreover, EE reduced anxiety-like behaviors in aged mice and reduced nNOS expression levels in the cerebellum, but not in the cortex. The present study suggests that EE improves anxiety-like behaviors in aged mice by altering nNOS expression levels in the hippocampus or cerebellum. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.