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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017 Dec 1;123(6):1721-1729. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00506.2017. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

Intrinsic exercise capacity in rats influences dopamine neuroplasticity induced by physical training.

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Laboratório de Fisiologia do Exercício, Departamento de Educação Física, Escola de Educação Física, Fisioterapia e Terapia Ocupacional, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais , Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais , Brazil.
Departamento de Fisiologia e Biofísica, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais , Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais , Brazil.
Laboratório de Imunometabolismo, Departamento de Nutrição, Escola de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais , Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais , Brazil.


The study evaluates whether the intrinsic capacity for physical exercise influences dopamine neuroplasticity induced by physical training. Male rats were submitted to three progressive tests until fatigue. Based on the maximal time of exercise (TE), rats were considered as low performance (LP), standard performance (SP) or high performance (HP) to exercise. Eight animals from each group (LP, SP, and HP) were randomly subdivided in sedentary (SED) or trained (TR). Physical training was performed for 6 wk. After that, concentrations of dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and their metabolites and mRNA levels of D1 receptor ( Drd1), D2 receptor ( Drd2), dopamine transporter ( Dat), tyrosine hydroxylase ( Th), glia cell line neurotrophic factor ( Gdnf), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor ( Bdnf) were determined in the caudate-putamen (CPu). TE was increased with training in all performance groups. However, the relative increase was markedly higher in LP rats, and this was associated with a training-induced increase in dopaminergic activity in the CPu, which was determined by the 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC)/DA ratio. An opposite monoamine response was found in HP-TR rats, in which physical training decreased the DOPAC/DA ratio in the CPu. Moreover, LP-SED rats displayed higher levels of Drd2 in the CPu compared with the other SED groups, and this higher expression was decreased by physical training. Physical training also decreased Dat and increased Gdnf in the CPu of LP rats. Physical training decreased Bdnf in the CPu only in HP rats. Thus, we provide evidence that the intrinsic capacity to exercise affects the neuroplasticity of the dopaminergic system in response to physical training. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The findings reported reveal that dopaminergic neuroplasticity in caudate-putamen induced by physical training is influenced by the intrinsic capacity to exercise in rats. To evaluate the dopaminergic neuroplasticity, we analyzed mRNA levels of D1 receptor, D2 receptor, dopamine transporter, tyrosine hydroxylase, glia cell line neurotrophic factor, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor as well as concentrations of dopamine, serotonin, and their metabolites. These results expand our knowledge about the interrelationship between genetic background, physical training, and dopaminergic neuroplasticity.


caudate-putamen; central plasticity; dopaminergic system; innate capacity; physical training

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