Exercise modulates insulin-like growth factor 1-dependent and -independent effects on adult hippocampal neurogenesis and behaviour. Mol Cell Neurosci

Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Neurobiology, Institute Cajal, CSIC, Madrid, Spain.
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.84). 03/2010; 44(2):109-17. DOI: 10.1016/j.mcn.2010.02.006
Source: PubMed


While physical exercise clearly has beneficial effects on the brain, fomenting neuroprotection as well as promoting neural plasticity and behavioural modifications, the cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating these effects are not yet fully understood. We have analyzed sedentary and exercised animals to examine the effects of activity on behaviour (spatial memory and anxiety--as measured by a fear/exploration conflict test), as well as on adult hippocampal neurogenesis (a well-known form of neural plasticity). We have found that the difference in activity between sedentary and exercised animals induced a decrease in the fear/exploration conflict scores (a measure usually accepted as an anxiolytic effect), while no changes are evident in terms of spatial memory learning. The short-term anxiolytic-like effect of exercise was IGF1-dependent and indeed, the recall of hippocampus-dependent spatial memory is impaired by blocking serum IGF1 (as observed by measuring serum IGF levels in the same animals used to analyze the behaviour), irrespective of the activity undertaken by the animals. On the other hand, activity affected neurogenesis as reflected by counting the numbers of several cell populations, while the dependence of this effect on IGF1 varied according to the differentiation state of the new neurons. Hence, while proliferating precursors and postmitotic immature neurons (measured by means of doublecortin and calretinin) are influenced by serum IGF1 levels in both sedentary and exercised animals, premitotic immature neurons (an intermediate stage) respond to exercise independently of serum IGF1. Therefore, we conclude that physical exercise has both serum IGF1-independent and -dependent effects on neural plasticity. Furthermore, several effects mediated by serum IGF1 are induced by physical activity while others are not (both in terms of behaviour and neural plasticity). These findings help to delimit the role of serum IGF1 as a mediator of the effects of exercise, as well as to extend the role of serum IGF1 in the brain in basal conditions. Moreover, these data reveal the complexity of the interaction between neurogenesis, behaviour, and IGF1 under different levels of physical activity.

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    • "Exercise regulates multiple molecular and structural measures of neuroplasticity, including hippocampal neurogenesis and neurotrophic factor expression (Duman and Monteggia, 2006). These phenomena may contribute to the affective consequences of exercise, though the evidence for their specific roles is mixed (Duman et al., 2008; Duman et al., 2009; Fuss et al., 2010; Greenwood et al., 2007b; Li et al., 2008; Llorens-Martin et al., 2010; Trejo et al., 2008). The lack of research regarding the interplay between these structural and molecular signatures represents a major gap in understanding how geneeenvironment interactions cooperatively induce resilience or susceptibility, and this area deserves further study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Exercise promotes resilience to stress and increases galanin in the locus coeruleus (LC), but the question of whether changes in galanin signaling mediate the stress-buffering effects of exercise has never been addressed. To test the contributions of galanin to stress resilience, male Sprague Dawley rats received intracerebroventricular (ICV) cannulation for drug delivery and frontocortical cannulation for microdialysis, and were housed with or without a running wheel for 21d. Rats were acutely injected with vehicle or the galanin receptor antagonist M40 and exposed to a single session of either footshock or no stress. Other groups received galanin, the galanin receptor antagonist M40, or vehicle chronically for 21d prior to the stress session. Microdialysis sampling occurred during stress exposure and anxiety-related behavior was measured on the following day in the elevated plus maze. Dendritic spines were visualized by Golgi impregnation in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) pyramidal neurons and quantified. Exercise increased galanin levels in the LC. Under non-stressed conditions, anxiety-related behavior and dopamine levels were comparable between exercised and sedentary rats. In contrast, exposure to stress reduced open arm exploration in sedentary rats but not in exercise rats or those treated chronically with ICV galanin, indicating improved resilience. Both exercise and chronic, ICV galanin prevented the increased dopamine overflow and loss of dendritic spines observed after stress in sedentary rats. Chronic, but not acute M40 administration blocked the resilience-promoting effects of exercise. The results indicate that increased galanin levels promote features of resilience at both behavioral and neural levels.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Neuropharmacology
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    • "During development, IGF-1 promotes neuronal survival [reviewed in Ref. (1)] and maturation of cortical and retinal function (2–4), whereas in adult life, it exerts multiple actions ranging from the control of synaptic plasticity to neuroprotection [reviewed in Ref. (1, 5)]. During adulthood, IGF-1 is crucial for both basal and exercise-induced hippocampal neurogenesis (6, 7) and markedly regulates learning and cognition (8). "
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    ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling promotes brain development and plasticity. Altered IGF-1 expression has been associated to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). IGF-1 levels were found increased in the blood and decreased in the cerebrospinal fluid of ASD children. Accordingly, IGF-1 treatment can rescue behavioral deficits in mouse models of ASD, and IGF-1 trials have been proposed for ASD children. IGF-1 is mainly synthesized in the liver, and its synthesis is dependent on growth hormone (GH) produced in the pituitary gland. GH also modulates cognitive functions, and altered levels of GH have been detected in ASD patients. Here, we analyzed the expression of GH, IGF-1, their receptors, and regulatory hormones in the neuroendocrine system of adult male mice lacking the homeobox transcription factor Engrailed-2 (En2 (-/-) mice). En2 (-/-) mice display ASD-like behaviors (social interactions, defective spatial learning, increased seizure susceptibility) accompanied by relevant neuropathological changes (loss of cerebellar and forebrain inhibitory neurons). Recent studies showed that En2 modulates IGF-1 activity during postnatal cerebellar development. We found that GH mRNA expression was markedly deregulated throughout the neuroendocrine axis in En2 (-/-) mice, as compared to wild-type controls. In mutant mice, GH mRNA levels were significantly increased in the pituitary gland, blood, and liver, whereas decreased levels were detected in the hippocampus. These changes were paralleled by decreased levels of GH protein in the hippocampus but not other tissues of En2 (-/-) mice. IGF-1 mRNA was significantly up-regulated in the liver and down-regulated in the En2 (-/-) hippocampus, but no differences were detected in the levels of IGF-1 protein between the two genotypes. Our data strengthen the notion that altered GH levels in the hippocampus may be involved in learning disabilities associated to ASD.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Frontiers in Pediatrics
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    • "Our findings also support a positive correlation between blood and hippocampal IGF-1 levels. Hippocampus IGF-1 level was found to be increased by chronic resistance exercise for 8 weeks [14], but did not change by moderate-intensity treadmill performance for 2 weeks in adult animals [30]. According to our knowledge, no study has yet investigated the relationship between exercise and IGF-1 level in adolescent rats. "
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    ABSTRACT: It is already known that regular aerobic exercise during adolescent period improves learning and memory in rats. In this study, we investigated the effects of regular aerobic exercise on learning, memory functioning and IGF-1 levels. IGF-1 is known to have positive effects on cognitive functions in adolescent rats. Exercise group was separated into two different groups. First half was run on a treadmill for 30minutes per session at a speed of 8m/min and 0 degrees slope, five times a week for 6 weeks. The second half was given free access to a running wheel (diameter 11.5cm) which was connected to a digital counter and run on a treadmill for 6 weeks. Learning and memory functioning were found to be positively correlated with the exercise activity. Findings suggest increased neuron density in CA1 hippocampal region and dentate gyrus. Increased IGF-1 level was detected in hippocampus and blood serum, while IGF-1 level in liver tissue did not change with exercise activity. In conclusion, our findings indicate that learning and memory functioning were positively affected by voluntary and involuntary physical exercise which correlated increased hippocampal activity and elevated IGF-1 levels in adolescent rats.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Neuroscience Letters
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