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Exercise-Induced Gene Expression Changes in the Rat Spinal Cord

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There is growing evidence that exercise benefits recovery of neuromuscular function from spinal cord injury (SCI). However, the effect of exercise on gene expression in the spinal cord is poorly understood. We used oligonucleotide microarrays to compare thoracic and lumbar regions of spinal cord of either exercising (voluntary wheel running for 21 days) or sedentary rats. The expression data were filtered using statistical tests for significance, and K-means clustering was then used to segregate lists of significantly changed genes into sets based upon expression patterns across all experimental groups. Levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein were also measured after voluntary exercise, across different regions of the spinal cord. BDNF mRNA increased with voluntary exercise, as has been previously shown for other forms of exercise, contributed to by increases in both exon I and exon III. The exercise-induced gene expression changes identified by microarray analysis are consistent with increases in pathways promoting neuronal health, signaling, remodeling, cellular transport, and development of oligodendrocytes. Taken together these data suggest cellular pathways through which exercise may promote recovery in the SCI population.
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Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF); Exercise; Gene expression; Microarray; Rat; Spinal cord

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia, 1113 Gillespie N.R.F., University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA 2: Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 1107 Gillespie N.R.F., University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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  • Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research will publish articles in all aspects of hepatology. Hepatology, as a research discipline, has seen unprecedented growth especially in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hepatic health and disease, which continues to have a major impact on understanding liver development, stem cells, carcinogenesis, tissue engineering, injury, repair, regeneration, immunology, metabolism, fibrosis, and transplantation. Continued research and improved understanding in these areas will have a meaningful impact on liver disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The existing journal Gene Expression has expanded its focus to become Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research to meet this growing demand. In its revised and expanded scope, the journal will publish high-impact original articles, reviews, short but complete articles, and special articles (editorials, commentaries, opinions) on all aspects of hepatology, making it a unique and invaluable resource for readers interested in this field. The expanded team, led by an Editor-in-Chief who is uniquely qualified and a renowned expert, along with a dynamic and functional editorial board, is determined to make this a premier journal in the field of hepatology.

    From Volume 16, Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license.

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