Front Cell Dev Biol
development; enriched environment; glia; hypermyelination; motor coordination; myelin; oligodendrocyte.
Postnatal neurodevelopment is profoundly influenced by environmental experiences. Environmental enrichment is a commonly used experimental paradigm that has uncovered numerous examples of experience-dependent plasticity in health and disease. However, the role of environmental enrichment in normal development, especially glial development, is largely unexplored. Oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming glia in the central nervous system, provide metabolic support to axons and establish efficient saltatory conduction by producing myelin. Indeed, alterations in myelin are strongly correlated with sensory, cognitive, and motor function. The timing of developmental myelination is uniquely positioned to be influenced by environmental stimuli, as peak myelination occurs postnatally and continues into adulthood. To determine if developmental myelination is impacted by environmental experience, mice were housed in an enriched environment during peak myelination through early adulthood. Using translating ribosome affinity purification, oligodendrocyte-specific RNAs were isolated from subcortical white matter at various postnatal ages. RNA-sequencing revealed that differences in the oligodendrocyte translatome were predominantly evident after prolonged and continuous environmental enrichment. These translational changes corresponded with altered oligodendrocyte lineage cell dynamics and enhanced myelination. Furthermore, consistent with increased developmental myelination, enriched mice displayed enhanced motor coordination on a beam walking task. These findings indicate that protracted environmental stimulation is sufficient to modulate developmental myelination and to promote behavioral function.
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Goldstein, E., Pertsovskaya, V., Forbes, T., Dupree, J., & Gallo, V. (2021). Prolonged Environmental Enrichment Promotes Developmental Myelination.. Front Cell Dev Biol, 9 (). http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.665409