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Brain Res. 2010 Jan 15;1310:200-7. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.10.075. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

Exercise exerts neuroprotective effects on Parkinson's disease model of rats.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama, 700-8558, Japan.


Recent studies demonstrate that rehabilitation ameliorates physical and cognitive impairments of patients with stroke, spinal cord injury, and other neurological diseases and that rehabilitation also has potencies to modulate brain plasticity. Here we examined the effects of compulsive exercise on Parkinson's disease model of rats. Before 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 20 microg) lesion into the right striatum of female SD rats, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) was injected to label the proliferating cells. Subsequently, at 24 h after the lesion, the rats were forced to run on the treadmill (5 days/week, 30 min/day, 11 m/min). As behavioral evaluations, cylinder test was performed at 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks and amphetamine-induced rotational test was performed at 2 and 4 weeks with consequent euthanasia for immunohistochemical investigations. The exercise group showed better behavioral recovery in cylinder test and significant decrease in the number of amphetamine-induced rotations, compared to the non-exercise group. Correspondingly, significant preservation of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive fibers in the striatum and TH-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) was demonstrated, compared to the non-exercise group. Additionally, the number of migrated BrdU- and Doublecortin-positive cells toward the lesioned striatum was increased in the exercise group. Furthermore, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor increased in the striatum by exercise. The results suggest that exercise exerts neuroprotective effects or enhances the neuronal differentiation in Parkinson's disease model of rats with subsequent improvement in deteriorated motor function.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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