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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 May 14;116(20):10103-10112. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1816781116. Epub 2019 Apr 22.

Intergenerational transmission of the positive effects of physical exercise on brain and cognition.

Author information

1
Department of Translational Neuroscience, Cajal Institute, Spanish National Research Council, Madrid, 28002, Spain.
2
National Centre for Genome Analysis, Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Barcelona, 08028, Spain.
3
National Institute for Agriculture Research, Madrid, 28040, Spain.
4
Mouse Embryo Cryopreservation Facility, National Centre for Biotechnology, Madrid, 28049, Spain.
5
Centre for Biomedical Research on Rare Diseases, Health Institute Carlos III, Spanish National Research Council, Madrid, 28029, Spain.
6
Andalusian Centre for Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine, University of Pablo de Olavide/University of Seville, Spanish National Research Council, Seville, 41092, Spain.
7
Department of Cell Biology, University of Valencia, Valencia, 46100, Spain.
8
Estructura de Recerca Interdisciplinar en Biotecnologia i Biomedicina, University of Valencia, Valencia, 46100, Spain.
9
Department of Paediatrics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB20QQ, United Kingdom.
10
Department of Translational Neuroscience, Cajal Institute, Spanish National Research Council, Madrid, 28002, Spain; afontan@us.es jltrejo@cajal.csic.es.
11
Department of Physiology, School of Biology, University of Seville, Seville, 41004, Spain.

Abstract

Physical exercise has positive effects on cognition, but very little is known about the inheritance of these effects to sedentary offspring and the mechanisms involved. Here, we use a patrilineal design in mice to test the transmission of effects from the same father (before or after training) and from different fathers to compare sedentary- and runner-father progenies. Behavioral, stereological, and whole-genome sequence analyses reveal that paternal cognition improvement is inherited by the offspring, along with increased adult neurogenesis, greater mitochondrial citrate synthase activity, and modulation of the adult hippocampal gene expression profile. These results demonstrate the inheritance of exercise-induced cognition enhancement through the germline, pointing to paternal physical activity as a direct factor driving offspring's brain physiology and cognitive behavior.

KEYWORDS:

adult hippocampal neurogenesis; cognition traits; intergenerational inheritance; mitochondria; moderate physical exercise

PMID:
31010925
PMCID:
PMC6525532
[Available on 2019-10-22]
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1816781116

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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