Physical exercise prevents age-related decline in precursor cell activity in the mouse dentate gyrus.

Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin-Buch, Robert-Rössle-Str. 10, 13125 Berlin, Germany.
Neurobiology of aging (Impact Factor: 4.85). 11/2006; 27(10):1505-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2005.09.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Physical activity induces adult hippocampal neurogenesis. We here show that the acute up-regulating effect of voluntary wheel running on precursor cell proliferation decreases with continued exercise, but that continued exercise reduces the age-dependent decline in adult neurogenesis. Cell proliferation peaked at 3 days of running. After 32 days of exercise this response returned to baseline. Running-induced proliferation of transiently amplifying progenitor cells led to a consecutive increase in the number of more mature cells. Increasing age reduced adult neurogenesis at 9 months to 50% of the value at 6 weeks and to 17% at the age of 2 years. At both 1 and 2 years, precursor cell divisions remained inducible by physical activity. Exercise from 3 to 9 months of age significantly reduced the age-dependent decline in cell proliferation but (presumably in the absence of additional stimuli) did not maintain net neurogenesis at levels corresponding to a younger age. We propose that physical activity might contribute to successful aging by increasing the potential for neurogenesis represented by the pool of proliferating precursor cells.

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