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Gene Expr. 2005;12(2):107-21.

Exercise-induced gene expression changes in the rat spinal cord.

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  • 1Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia, 1113 Gillespie N.R.F., University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA. vperreau@uci.edu


There is growing evidence that exercise benefits recovery of neuromuscular function from spinal cord injury (SCI). However, the effect of exercise on gene expression in the spinal cord is poorly understood. We used oligonucleotide microarrays to compare thoracic and lumbar regions of spinal cord of either exercising (voluntary wheel running for 21 days) or sedentary rats. The expression data were filtered using statistical tests for significance, and K-means clustering was then used to segregate lists of significantly changed genes into sets based upon expression patterns across all experimental groups. Levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein were also measured after voluntary exercise, across different regions of the spinal cord. BDNF mRNA increased with voluntary exercise, as has been previously shown for other forms of exercise, contributed to by increases in both exon I and exon III. The exercise-induced gene expression changes identified by microarray analysis are consistent with increases in pathways promoting neuronal health, signaling, remodeling, cellular transport, and development of oligodendrocytes. Taken together these data suggest cellular pathways through which exercise may promote recovery in the SCI population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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