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CJAP ›› 2019, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (4): 339-345.doi: 10.12047/j.cjap.5803.2019.072

• ORIGINAL ARTICLES • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of endurance exercise on synaptic plasticity in cerebral cortex of aged rats and related regulatory mechanism

LIU Wen-feng, LIU Shao-peng, FU Rang, WANG Zhi-yuan, KUANG He-yu, XIA Yan, TANG Chang-fa   

  1. Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Physical Fitness and Sports Rehabilitation, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410012, China
  • Received:2019-01-02 Online:2019-07-28 Published:2019-11-06

Abstract: Objective: To understand and analyze the rules of endurance exercise on the cerebral cortex adaptive mechanism in aged rats. Methods: In this study, 3-month-old (n=20), 13-month-old (n=24) and 23-month-old (n=24) specific-pathogen free (SPF) male Sprague-Dawley Rat (SD) rats were divided into young (Y-SED), middle-aged (M-SED) and old-aged (O-SED) sedentary control group, and the corresponding Y-EX, M-EX and O-EX in the endurance exercise runner group. The 10-weeks of regular moderate-intensity aerobic exercise intervention were carried out in the endurance exercise runner group. The exercise mode is treadmill exercise (slope 0), and the exercise intensity gradually increases from 60%~65% of the maximum oxygen consumption (V·O2max) to 70%~75%, and the exercise time is 10 weeks. Hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining was used to detect age-related morphological changes. The expressions of superoxide dismutase(SOD) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the expressions of synapsin 1 (SYN1) and Ca2+/calmodulin- dependent protein kinases IIα (CaMK IIα) / AMP-activated protein kinase α1(AMPKα1) / mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway -related genes were detected. Results: The cerebral cortex structure of the rats in each group showed age-related aging changes, the expression of SOD in the cortex showed a gradual decline, the expression of BDNF showed an age-increasing trend, and the expression levels of SYN1 and CaMK IIα were increased with age. The changes in AMPKα1 and SirT2 and IP3R, AKT1 and mTOR mRNA levels were increased slightly in middle-aged rats and decreased in aged rats. Compared with the rats in each sedentary control group, the nucleus of the cerebral cortex was tightly arranged and the number of nuclei observed under the microscope was increased significantly in each exercise group. Exercise promoted the expressions of SOD, BDNF and synaptophysin SYN1 in the cortex of rats, and the expression levels of SOD and BDNF in aged rats were up-regulated significantly (P< 0.01). The expression level of SYN1 in rats was up-regulated significantly (P<0.05) in the young and aged rats. The expression of CaMK IIα in the cortex of middle-aged and aged rats was up-regulated (P<0.01), while the expression level of CaMK IIα in young rats was down-regulated (P<0.01). Exercise could up-regulate the expression level of AMPKα1 in the cortex of young rats (P< 0.05), but not in middle-aged and old-age rats. Exercise could up-regulate the expression of SirT2 in the cortex of rats in all age groups (P<0.05). Exercise up-regulated the expression of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (IP3R)/ protein kinase B 1(AKT1) /mTOR in the cortex of rats, among which young IP3R was significantly up-regulated (P<0.01) in the young group, mTOR was significantly up-regulated in young and middle-aged group (P<0.01), and mTOR was also significantly up-regulated in the aged group (P<0.05). Conclusion: Endurance exercise up-regulates BDNF expression, regulates CaMKIIα signaling, activates AMPK signaling pathway and IP3R / AKT1 / mTOR signaling pathway, and improves synaptic plasticity in the cortex.

Key words: rat, endurance exercise, synaptic plasticity, age-related aging, synapsin I, CaMK II&alpha, / AMPKα1 / mTOR signaling pathway

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