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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Oct 9;115(41):10487-10492. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1805668115. Epub 2018 Sep 24.

Rapid stimulation of human dentate gyrus function with acute mild exercise.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Exercise Biochemistry and Neuroendocrinology, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 305-8574 Ibaraki, Japan.
2
Sports Neuroscience Division, Advanced Research Initiative for Human High Performance (ARIHHP), Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 305-8574 Ibaraki, Japan.
3
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3800.
4
Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3800.
5
Center for Cybernics Research, University of Tsukuba, 305-8574 Ibaraki, Japan.
6
Department of Neurology, Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences, 300-0394 Ibaraki, Japan.
7
Sports Neuroscience Division, Advanced Research Initiative for Human High Performance (ARIHHP), Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 305-8574 Ibaraki, Japan; myassa@uci.edu soya.hideaki.gt@u.tsukuba.ac.jp.
8
Laboratory of Exercise Biochemistry and Neuroendocrinology, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 305-8574 Ibaraki, Japan; myassa@uci.edu soya.hideaki.gt@u.tsukuba.ac.jp.

Abstract

Physical exercise has beneficial effects on neurocognitive function, including hippocampus-dependent episodic memory. Exercise intensity level can be assessed according to whether it induces a stress response; the most effective exercise for improving hippocampal function remains unclear. Our prior work using a special treadmill running model in animals has shown that stress-free mild exercise increases hippocampal neuronal activity and promotes adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, improving spatial memory performance. However, the rapid modification, from mild exercise, on hippocampal memory function and the exact mechanisms for these changes, in particular the impact on pattern separation acting in the DG and CA3 regions, are yet to be elucidated. To this end, we adopted an acute-exercise design in humans, coupled with high-resolution functional MRI techniques, capable of resolving hippocampal subfields. A single 10-min bout of very light-intensity exercise (30%[Formula: see text]) results in rapid enhancement in pattern separation and an increase in functional connectivity between hippocampal DG/CA3 and cortical regions (i.e., parahippocampal, angular, and fusiform gyri). Importantly, the magnitude of the enhanced functional connectivity predicted the extent of memory improvement at an individual subject level. These results suggest that brief, very light exercise rapidly enhances hippocampal memory function, possibly by increasing DG/CA3-neocortical functional connectivity.

KEYWORDS:

episodic memory; functional MRI; hippocampus; pattern separation; physical exercise

PMID:
30249651
PMCID:
PMC6187140
[Available on 2019-04-09]
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1805668115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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