Short-term, moderate exercise is capable of inducing structural, bdnf-independent hippocampal plasticity

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


Exercise is known to improve cognitive functions and to induce neuroprotection. In this study we used a short-term, moderate intensity treadmill exercise protocol to investigate the effects of exercise on usual markers of hippocampal synaptic and structural plasticity, such as synapsin I (SYN), synaptophysin (SYP), neurofilaments (NF), microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2), glutamate receptor subunits GluR1 and GluR2/3, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Immunohistochemistry, Western blotting and real-time PCR were used. We also evaluated the number of cells positive for the proliferation marker 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU), the neurogenesis marker doublecortin (DCX) and the plasma corticosterone levels. Adult male Wistar rats were adapted to a treadmill and divided into 4 groups: sedentary (SED), 3-day exercise (EX3), 7-day exercise (EX7) and 15-day exercise (EX15). The protein changes detected were increased levels of NF68 and MAP2 at EX3, of SYN at EX7 and of GFAP at EX15, accompanied by a decreased level of GluR1 at EX3. Immunohistochemical findings revealed a similar pattern of changes. The real-time PCR analysis disclosed only an increase of MAP2 mRNA at EX7. We also observed an increased number of BrdU-positive cells and DCX-positive cells in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus at all time points and increased corticosterone levels at EX3 and EX7. These results reveal a positive effect of short-term, moderate treadmill exercise on hippocampal plasticity. This effect was in general independent of transcriptional processes and of BDNF upregulation, and occurred even in the presence of increased corticosterone levels. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Ferreira, A. F. B., Real, C. C., Rodrigues, A. C., Alves, A. S., & Britto, L. R. G. (2011). Short-term, moderate exercise is capable of inducing structural, bdnf-independent hippocampal plasticity. Brain Research, 1425, 111–122.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free