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J Exerc Rehabil. 2018 Oct 31;14(5):713-723. doi: 10.12965/jer.36394.197. eCollection 2018 Oct.

Treadmill exercise improves memory function by inhibiting hippocampal apoptosis in pilocarpine-induced epileptic rats.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
School of Global Sport Studies, Korea University, Sejong, Korea.
Division of Leisure & Sports Science, Department of Exercise Prescription, Dongseo University, Busan, Korea.
Department of Golf Mapping, College of Arts Physical Education, Joongbu University, Geumsan, Korea.
Department of Urology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent seizures and loss of neurons with abnormal rhythmic firing in the brains. In the present study, we investigated the effect of treadmill exercise on memory function in relation with cell proliferation and apoptosis in the hippocampus using pilocarpine-induced seizure rats. Epilepsy was initiated by intraperitoneal injection of pilocarpine hydrochloride. The rats in the exercise group were forced to run on a motorized treadmill for 30 min once a day for 2 weeks. In the present results, treadmill exercise alleviated short-term and spatial learning memory impairments in the epileptic rats. Treadmill exercise suppressed neuronal degeneration and enhanced neuronal maturation in the epileptic rats. Treadmill exercise suppressed cell proliferation and apoptosis in the epileptic rats. Treadmill exercise alleviated pilocarpine-induced memory impairments and suppressed neuronal loss in the hippocampus through down-regulation of apoptosis. These findings offer a possibility that treadmill exercise may provide a preventive or therapeutic value to the epilepsy-induced learning and memory impairments.


Apoptosis; Cell proliferation; Epilepsy; Short-term memory; Spatial learning memory; Treadmill exercise

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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