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Neurosci Lett. 2013 Aug 9;549:177-81. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.06.012. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Positive effects of aerobic exercise on learning and memory functioning, which correlate with hippocampal IGF-1 increase in adolescent rats.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey.


It is already known that regular aerobic exercise during adolescent period improves learning and memory in rats. In this study, we investigated the effects of regular aerobic exercise on learning, memory functioning and IGF-1 levels. IGF-1 is known to have positive effects on cognitive functions in adolescent rats. Exercise group was separated into two different groups. First half was run on a treadmill for 30 min per session at a speed of 8m/min and 0° slope, five times a week for 6 weeks. The second half was given free access to a running wheel (diameter 11.5 cm) which was connected to a digital counter and run on a treadmill for 6 weeks. Learning and memory functioning were found to be positively correlated with the exercise activity. Findings suggest increased neuron density in CA1 hippocampal region and dentate gyrus. Increased IGF-1 level was detected in hippocampus and blood serum, while IGF-1 level in liver tissue did not change with exercise activity. In conclusion, our findings indicate that learning and memory functioning were positively affected by voluntary and involuntary physical exercise which correlated increased hippocampal activity and elevated IGF-1 levels in adolescent rats.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Adolescent; Exercise; Hippocampus; IGF-1; Spatial learning and memory

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