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Rejuvenation Res. 2011 Dec;14(6):585-96. doi: 10.1089/rej.2011.1178. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Combined exercise and insulin-like growth factor-1 supplementation induces neurogenesis in old rats, but do not attenuate age-associated DNA damage.

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Semmelweis University , Research Institute of Sport Science, Budapest, Hungary.


We have investigated the effects of 2 weeks of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) supplementation (5 μg/kg per day) and 6 weeks of exercise training (60% of the maximal oxygen consumption [VO₂ max]) on neurogenesis, DNA damage/repair, and sirtuin content in the hippocampus of young (3 months old) and old (26 months old) rats. Exercise improved the spatial memory of the old group, but IGF-1 supplementation eliminated this effect. An age-associated decrease in neurogenesis was attenuated by exercise and IGF-1 treatment. Aging increased the levels of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxoG) and the protein Ku70, indicating the role of DNA damage in age-related neuropathology. Acetylation of 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1) was detected in vivo, and this decreased with aging. However, in young animals, exercise and IGF-1 treatment increased acetylated (ac) OGG1 levels. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and SIRT3, as DNA damage-associated lysine deacetylases, were measured, and SIRT1 decreased with aging, resulting in a large increase in acetylated lysine residues in the hippocampus. On the other hand, SIRT3 increased with aging. Exercise-induced neurogenesis might not be a causative factor of increased spatial memory, because IGF-1 plus exercise can induce neurogenesis in the hippocampus of older rats. Data revealed that the age-associated increase in 8-oxoG levels is due to decreased acetylation of OGG1. Age-associated decreases in SIRT1 and the associated increase in lysine acetylation, in the hippocampus, could have significant impact on function and thus, could suggest a therapeutic target.

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