Effect of exercise-induced neurogenesis on cognitive function deficit in a rat model of vascular dementia.
Mol Med Rep. 2016 Apr ;13(4):2981-90. Epub 2016 Feb 15. PMID: 26934837
Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) is strongly correlated with progressive cognitive decline in neurological diseases, such as vascular dementia (VaD) and Alzheimer's disease. Exercise can enhance learning and memory, and delay age-related cognitive decline. However, exercise-induced hippocampal neurogenesis in experimental animals submitted to CCH has not been investigated. The present study aimed to investigate whether hippocampal neurogenesis induced by exercise can improve cognitive deficit in a rat model of VaD. Male Wistar rats (age, 8 weeks; weight, 292±3.05 g; n=12-13/group) were subjected to bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (2VO) or sham‑surgery and each group was then subdivided randomly into no exercise and treadmill exercise groups. Exercise groups performed treadmill exercise daily at 15 m/min for 30 min for 4 weeks from the third to the seventh week after 2VO. It was demonstrated that the number of neural progenitor cells and mature neurons in the subgranular zone of 2VO rats was increased by exercise, and cognitive impairment in 2VO rats was attenuated by treadmill exercise. In addition, mature brain‑derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in the hippocampus were increased in the exercise groups. Thus the present study suggests that exercise delays cognitive decline by the enhancing neurogenesis and increasing BDNF expression in the context of VaD.