Exercise induces age-dependent changes on epigenetic parameters in rat hippocampus: A preliminary study

ArticleinExperimental gerontology 48(2) · November 2012with22 Reads
Impact Factor: 3.49 · DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2012.11.011 · Source: PubMed


    Regular exercise improves learning and memory, including during aging process. Interestingly, the imbalance of epigenetic mechanisms has been linked to age-related cognitive deficits. However, studies about epigenetic alterations after exercise during the aging process are rare. In this preliminary study we investigated the effect of aging and exercise on DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1 and DNMT3b) and H3-K9 methylation levels in hippocampus from 3 and 20-months aged Wistar rats. The animals were submitted to two exercise protocols: single session or chronic treadmill protocol. DNMT1 and H3-K9 methylation levels were decreased in hippocampus from aged rats. The single exercise session decreased both DNMT3b and DNMT1 levels in young adult rats, without any effect in the aged group. Both exercise protocols reduced H3-K9 methylation levels in young adult rats, while the single session reversed the changes on H3-K9 methylation levels induced by aging. Together, these results suggest that an imbalance on DNMTs and H3-K9 methylation levels might be linked to the brain aging process and that the outcome to exercise seems to vary through lifespan.