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Treadmill Exercise Prevents Learning and Memory Impairment in Alzheimer's Disease-Like Pathology

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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by progressive memory loss. In contrast, accumulating evidence suggests a neuroprotective role of regular exercise in aging associated memory impairment. In this study, we investigated the ability of regular exercise to prevent impairments of short-term memory (STM) and early long-term potentiation (E-LTP) in area CA1 of the hippocampus in a rat model of AD (i.c.v. infusion of 250 pmol/day Aβ1-42 peptides). We utilized behavioral assessment, in vivo electrophysiological recording, and immunoblotting in 4 groups of adult Wistar rats: control, treadmill exercise (Ex), β-amyloid-infused (Aβ), and amyloid-infused/treadmill exercised (Ex/Aβ). Our findings indicated that Aβ rats made significantly more errors in the radial arm water maze (RAWM) compared to all other groups and exhibited suppressed E-LTP in area CA1, which correlated with deleterious alterations in the levels of memory and E-LTP-related signaling molecules including calcineurin (PP2B), brain derivedneurotrophic factor (BDNF) and phosphorylated CaMKII (p-CaMKII). Compared to controls, Ex and Ex/Aβ rats showed a similar behavioral performance and a normal E-LTP with no detrimental changes in the levels of PP2B, BDNF, and p- CaMKII. We conclude that treadmill exercise maybe able to prevent cognitive impairment associated with AD pathology.
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Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF); calcineurin (PP2B); calcium-calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII); exercise; learning and memory; synaptic plasticity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-06-01

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  • Current Alzheimer Research publishes peer-reviewed frontier review and research articles on all areas of Alzheimer's disease. This multidisciplinary journal will help in understanding the neurobiology, genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment strategies of Alzheimer's disease. The journal publishes objective reviews written by experts and leaders actively engaged in research using cellular, molecular, and animal models. The journal also covers original articles on recent research in fast emerging areas of molecular diagnostics, brain imaging, drug development and discovery, and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease. Manuscripts are encouraged that relate to the synergistic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease with other dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. Book reviews, meeting reports and letters-to-the-editor are also published. The journal is essential reading for researchers, educators and physicians with interest in age-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer Research provides a comprehensive 'bird's-eye view' of the current state of Alzheimer's research for neuroscientists, clinicians, health science planners, granting, caregivers and families of this devastating disease.
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