Send to

Choose Destination
eNeuro. 2017 Aug 16;4(4). pii: ENEURO.0237-17.2017. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0237-17.2017. eCollection 2017 Jul-Aug.

Early-Age Running Enhances Activity of Adult-Born Dentate Granule Neurons Following Learning in Rats.

Author information

Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S1A8, Canada.
Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre, Toronto, Ontario M6E2E1, Canada.
Department of Psychology, Trent University, Peterborough, K9J7B8, Canada.


Cognitive reserve, the brain's capacity to draw on enriching experiences during youth, is believed to protect against memory loss associated with a decline in hippocampal function, as seen in normal aging and neurodegenerative disease. Adult neurogenesis has been suggested as a specific mechanism involved in cognitive (or neurogenic) reserve. The first objective of this study was to compare learning-related neuronal activity in adult-born versus developmentally born hippocampal neurons in juvenile male rats that had engaged in extensive running activity during early development or reared in a standard laboratory environment. The second objective was to investigate the long-term effect of exercise in rats on learning and memory of a contextual fear (CF) response later in adulthood. These aims address the important question as to whether exercise in early life is sufficient to build a reserve that protects against the process of cognitive aging. The results reveal a long-term effect of early running on adult-born dentate granule neurons and a special role for adult-born neurons in contextual memory, in a manner that is consistent with the neurogenic reserve hypothesis.


adult neurogenesis; dentate gyrus; hippocampus; learning and memory; plasticity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center