[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We have recently demonstrated that high intensity training exercise exacerbates brain damage, while a moderate intensity (2 weeks of 20 min/day of treadmill training) reduces the injury caused by in vitro ischemia, oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD), to hippocampal slices from Wistar rats. In the present paper, the effect of different running programs on severity of ischemic OGD lesion was examined, by the evaluation of three protocols designed to simulate exercise conditions common to humans: one or three 20-min sessions per week, during 12 weeks (moderate intensity), and two 20-min daily sessions for 3 weeks. OGD caused an increase of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release into the incubation media, a marker of tissue necrosis, and a decline of cell viability, as assessed by the decrease of mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity (MTT method). Moderate exercise, three times a week during 12-week treadmill training, decreased LDH release after OGD, while one weekly session and 3 weeks of two daily sessions did not affect OGD-induced LDH released. No exercise protocol evaluated altered MTT reduction. Our data support the hypothesis that moderate intensity exercise reduces hippocampal susceptibility to in vitro ischemia.