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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1995 Apr;50(4):635-9.

Effect of exercise training on antioxidant system in brain regions of rat.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield 62794-9230, USA.


The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether any alterations in antioxidant enzyme activities and levels of glutathione (GSH) in brain regions occurred following exercise training. Sprague-Dawley rats were given exercise training on a treadmill for 7.5 weeks and sacrificed 18 h after the last exercise along with the sedentary control rats. Different brain regions-cerebral cortex (CC), brainstem (BS), corpus striatum (CS), and hippocampus (H)-were isolated; GSH, oxidized glutathione (GSSG), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities were determined. The exercise training increased SOD activity significantly (130% of sedentary control) in BS and in CS. SOD activity in H was the lowest of all four brain regions. Different brain regions showed GSH-Px activity in decreasing order for CS < BS < CC < H. GSH levels were 43% less in BS than CC and CS. The ratio of GSH/GSSG significantly increased from 6.8 to 8.3 in CC, and from 9.4 to 13.5 in BS as a result of exercise training. Different brain regions contained different activities of antioxidant enzymes, as well as GSH and GSSG levels, which were preferentially altered as a result of exercise training to cope with oxidative stress.

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