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J Exerc Rehabil. 2015 Apr 30;11(2):80-6. doi: 10.12965/jer.150193. eCollection 2015 Apr.

Treadmill exercise prevents GABAergic neuronal loss with suppression of neuronal activation in the pilocarpine-induced epileptic rats.

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Department of Exercise Prescription, Division of Leisure & Sports Science, Dongseo University, Busan, Korea.
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
Division of Sports Science, Baekseok University, Cheonan, Korea.


Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder characterized by seizure and loss of neuronal cells by abnormal rhythmic firing of neurons in the brain. In the present study, we investigated the effect of treadmill exercise on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neuronal loss in relation with neuronal activation using pilocarpine-induced epileptic rats. The rats were divided into four groups: control group, control and treadmill exercise group, pilocarpine-induced epilepsy group, and pilocarpine-induced epilepsy and treadmill exercise group. Epilepsy was induced by intraperitoneal injection of 320 mg/kg pilocarpine hydrochloride. The rats in the exercise groups were forced to run on a motorized treadmill for 30 min once a day for 2 weeks. In the present results, neuronal loss in the hippocampal CA1 region was increased after pilocarpine-induced seizure. Treadmill exercise inhibited hippocampal neuronal loss in the epileptic rats. Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) expression in the hippocampal CA1 region was reduced by pilocarpine-induced seizure. Treadmill exercise increased GAD67 expression in the epileptic rats. c-Fos expression in the hippocampal CA1 region was increased in response to epileptic seizure. Treadmill exercise inhibited c-Fos expression in the epileptic rats. Epileptic seizure increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) expressions in the hippocampus. Treadmill exercise suppressed BDNF and TrkB expressions in the epileptic rats. In the present study, treadmill exercise prevented GABAergic neuronal loss and inhibited neuronal activation in the hippocampal CA1 region through the down-regulation of BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Epilepsy; Glutamic acid decarboxylase; Treadmill exercise; Tyrosine kinase receptor B; c-Fos

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