- Running throughout middle-age improves memory function, hippocampal neurogenesis and BDNF levels in female C57Bl/6J mice.
- Developmental Neurobiology
- Volume | Issue number
- 72 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
Age-related memory loss is considered to commence at middle-age and coincides with reduced adult hippocampal neurogenesis and neurotrophin levels. Consistent physical activity at midlife may preserve brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels, new cell genesis and learning. In the present study, 9-month-old female C57Bl/6J mice were housed with or without a running wheel and injected with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to label newborn cells. Morris water maze learning, open field activity and rotarod behavior were tested 1 and 6 months after exercise onset. Here we show that long-term running improved retention of spatial memory and modestly enhanced rotarod performance at 15 months of age. Both hippocampal neurogenesis and mature BDNF peptide levels were elevated after long-term running. Thus, regular exercise from the onset and during middle-age may maintain brain function.
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