Journal Article Long-Term Mild, rather than Intense, Exercise Enhances Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Greatly Changes the Transcriptomic Profile of the Hippocampus

Inoue, Koshiro  ,  Okamoto, Masahiro  ,  Shibato, Junko  ,  Lee, Min Chul  ,  Matsui, Takashi  ,  Rakwal, Randeep  ,  Soya, Hideaki

10 ( 6 )  , p.e0128720 , 2015-06 , Public Library of Science
Our six-week treadmill running training (forced exercise) model has revealed that mild exercise (ME) with an intensity below the lactate threshold (LT) is sufficient to enhance spatial memory, while intense exercise (IE) above the LT negates such benefits. To help understand the unrevealed neuronal and signaling/molecular mechanisms of the intensity-dependent cognitive change, in this rat model, we here investigated plasma corticosterone concentration as a marker of stress, adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) as a potential contributor to this ME-induced spatial memory, and comprehensively delineated the hippocampal transcriptomic profile using a whole-genome DNA microarray analysis approach through comparison with IE. Results showed that only IE had the higher corticosterone concentration than control, and that the less intense exercise (ME) is better suited to improve AHN, especially in regards to the survival and maturation of newborn neurons. DNA microarray analysis using a 4 × 44 K Agilent chip revealed that ME regulated more genes than did IE (ME: 604 genes, IE: 415 genes), and only 41 genes were modified with both exercise intensities. The identified molecular components did not comprise well-known factors related to exercise-induced AHN, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Rather, network analysis of the data using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis algorithms revealed that the ME-influenced genes were principally related to lipid metabolism, protein synthesis and inflammatory response, which are recognized as associated with AHN. In contrast, IE-influenced genes linked to excessive inflammatory immune response, which is a negative regulator of hippocampal neuroadaptation, were identified. Collectively, these results in a treadmill running model demonstrate that long-term ME, but not of IE, with minimizing running stress, has beneficial effects on increasing AHN, and provides an ME-specific gene inventory containing some potential regulators of this positive regulation. This evidence might serve in further elucidating the mechanism behind ME-induced cognitive gain.

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