Environmental enrichment in adulthood promotes amblyopia recovery through a reduction of intracortical inhibition

  title={Environmental enrichment in adulthood promotes amblyopia recovery through a reduction of intracortical inhibition},
  author={Alessandro Sale and José Fernando Maya Vetencourt and Paolo Medini and Maria Cristina Cenni and Laura Baroncelli and Roberto de Pasquale and Lamberto Maffei},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
Loss of visual acuity caused by abnormal visual experience during development (amblyopia) is an untreatable pathology in adults. We report that environmental enrichment in adult amblyopic rats restored normal visual acuity and ocular dominance. These effects were due to reduced GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex, accompanied by increased expression of BDNF and reduced density of extracellular-matrix perineuronal nets, and were prevented by enhancement of inhibition through benzodiazepine… 
Environmental Enrichment Promotes Plasticity and Visual Acuity Recovery in Adult Monocular Amblyopic Rats
Exposure to environmental enrichment (EE) is effective in triggering recovery of vision in adult amblyopic rats rendered monocular by optic nerve dissection in their normal eye and it is reported that EE modulates the expression of GAD67 and BDNF.
Optimization of visual training for full recovery from severe amblyopia in adults
A rodent model is used to show that recovery from deprivation amblyopia can be achieved in adults by a two-step sequence, involving enhancement of synaptic plasticity in the visual cortex by dark exposure followed immediately by visual training.
Running towards amblyopia recovery
It is reported that three weeks of voluntary physical activity (free running) induced a marked and long-lasting recovery of both depth perception and visual acuity in adult amblyopic rats.
Experience-dependent recovery of vision following chronic deprivation amblyopia
It is demonstrated that complete visual deprivation through dark exposure restores rapid ocular dominance plasticity in adult rats and the loss of visual acuity resulting from chronic monocular deprivation is reversed if dark exposure precedes removal of the occlusion in adulthood, suggesting a potential use for dark exposure in the treatment of adult amblyopia.
Amblyopia: background to the special issue on stroke recovery.
Evidence from humans and animal models on the shaping of postnatal visual development by focused binocular input is summarized, finding ways to remediate vision in adulthood that bear some similarity to the interventions that have proved successful in promoting recovery from stroke.
New Perspectives in Amblyopia Therapy on Adults: A Critical Role for the Excitatory/Inhibitory Balance
These studies point toward the intracortical inhibitory transmission as a crucial brake for therapeutic rehabilitation and recovery from amblyopia in the adult brain.


Structural and functional recovery from early monocular deprivation in adult rats.
It is found that chondroitinase ABC treatment coupled with reverse lid-suturing causes a complete recovery of ocular dominance, visual acuity, and dendritic spine density in adult rats, suggesting manipulations of the extracellular matrix can be used to promote functional recovery in the adult cortex.
Reactivation of Ocular Dominance Plasticity in the Adult Visual Cortex
The mature ECM is thus inhibitory for experience-dependent plasticity, and degradation of CSPGs reactivates cortical plasticity.
Local GABA circuit control of experience-dependent plasticity in developing visual cortex.
Gene-targeted disruption of one isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase prevented the competitive loss of responsiveness to an eye briefly deprived of vision, without affecting cooperative mechanisms of synapse modification in vitro.
Visual Deprivation Reactivates Rapid Ocular Dominance Plasticity in Adult Visual Cortex
It is reported that persistent, rapid, juvenile-like ocular dominance plasticity can be reactivated in adult rodent visual cortex when monocular deprivation is preceded by visual deprivation.
Neural consequences of enviromental enrichment
This article focuses on the neuronal changes that occur in response to complex stimulation by an enriched environment and emphasizes the behavioural and neurobiological consequences of specific elements of enrichment, especially exercise and learning.
Improving vision in adult amblyopia by perceptual learning.
It is demonstrated that perceptual learning can improve basic representations within an adult visual system that did not develop during the critical period, and induction of low-level changes might yield significant perceptual benefits that transfer to higher visual tasks.
Inhibitory threshold for critical-period activation in primary visual cortex
It is shown that the potential for plasticity is retained throughout life until an inhibitory threshold is attained, and a threshold level of inhibition within the visual cortex may trigger, once in life, an experience-dependent critical period for circuit consolidation, which may otherwise lie dormant.
Critical period plasticity in local cortical circuits
  • T. Hensch
  • Biology
    Nature Reviews Neuroscience
  • 2005
The reactivation of this process, and subsequent recovery of function in conditions such as amblyopia, can now be studied with realistic circuit models that might generalize across systems.
Decline of the Critical Period of Visual Plasticity Is Concurrent with the Reduction of NR2B Subunit of the Synaptic NMDA Receptor in Layer 4
A correlation between the loss of NR2B subunits from layer 4 synaptic sites and the decline of the critical period is demonstrated, suggesting that the presence of NR1, NR2, and NR2A subunits at synaptic sites could be a permissive factor regulating the ocular dominance plasticity of the developing cortex.