Exercise enhanced functional recovery and expression of GDNF after photochemically induced cerebral infarction in the rat
Keywords:glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, cerebral infarction, beam-walking exercise, functional recovery, cortical plasticity, photochemical infarction
Exercise has been considered to affect the functional recovery from central nervous damage. Neurotrophic factors have various effects on brain damage. However, the effects of exercise for expression of GDNF on functional recovery with brain damage are not well known. We investigated the difference in functional recovery between non-exercise and beam-walking exercise groups, and the expression of GDNF in both groups after photochemical infarction.
Adult male Wistar rats (N = 64) were used. Animals were divided into two groups: non-exercise (N = 35), and beam-walking exercise (N = 29). All rats underwent surgical photochemical infarction. The rats of the beam-walking group were trained every day to walk on a narrow beam after a one-day recovery period and those of the non-exercise group were left to follow a natural course. Animals were evaluated for hind limb function every day using a beam-walking task with an elevated narrow beam. The number of GDNF-like immunoreactive cells in the temporal cortex surrounding the lesion was counted 1, 3, 5, and 7 days after the infarction. Functional recovery of the beam-walking exercise group was significantly earlier than that of the non-exercise group. At 3 days after infarction, the number of GDNF-positive cells in the temporal cortex surrounding the infarction was significantly increased in the beam-walking exercise group compared with that in the non-exercise group. In the exercise group, motor function was remarkably recovered with the increased expression of GDNF-like immunoreactive cells. Our results suggested that a rehabilitative approach increased the expression of GDNF and facilitated functional recovery from cerebral infarction.
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