Physical exercise is a well-proven neurogenic stimulus, promoting neuronal progenitor proliferation and affecting newborn cell survival. Besides, it has beneficial effects on brain health and cognition. Previously, we found that three days of physical activity in a very precocious period of adult-generated granule cell life is able to antedate the appearance of the first GABAergic synaptic contacts and increase T-type Ca2+ channel expression. Considering the role of GABA and Ca2+ in fostering neuronal maturation, in this study, we used short-term, voluntary exercise on a running wheel to investigate if it is able to induce long-term morphological and synaptic changes in newborn neurons. Using adult male rats, we found that: (i) three days of voluntary physical exercise can definitively influence the morpho-functional maturation process of newborn granule neurons when applied very early during their development; (ii) a significant percentage of new neurons show more mature morphological characteristics far from the end of exercise protocol; (iii) the long-term morphological effects result in enhanced synaptic plasticity. Present findings demonstrate that the morpho-functional changes induced by exercise on very immature adult-generated neurons are permanent, affecting the neuron maturation and integration in hippocampal circuitry. Our data contribute to underpinning the beneficial potential of physical activity on brain health, also performed for short times.

Short-Term, Voluntary Exercise Affects Morpho-Functional Maturation of Adult-Generated Neurons in Rat Hippocampus

Davide Lattanzi;David Savelli;Marica Pagliarini;Riccardo Cuppini;Patrizia Ambrogini
2022

Abstract

Physical exercise is a well-proven neurogenic stimulus, promoting neuronal progenitor proliferation and affecting newborn cell survival. Besides, it has beneficial effects on brain health and cognition. Previously, we found that three days of physical activity in a very precocious period of adult-generated granule cell life is able to antedate the appearance of the first GABAergic synaptic contacts and increase T-type Ca2+ channel expression. Considering the role of GABA and Ca2+ in fostering neuronal maturation, in this study, we used short-term, voluntary exercise on a running wheel to investigate if it is able to induce long-term morphological and synaptic changes in newborn neurons. Using adult male rats, we found that: (i) three days of voluntary physical exercise can definitively influence the morpho-functional maturation process of newborn granule neurons when applied very early during their development; (ii) a significant percentage of new neurons show more mature morphological characteristics far from the end of exercise protocol; (iii) the long-term morphological effects result in enhanced synaptic plasticity. Present findings demonstrate that the morpho-functional changes induced by exercise on very immature adult-generated neurons are permanent, affecting the neuron maturation and integration in hippocampal circuitry. Our data contribute to underpinning the beneficial potential of physical activity on brain health, also performed for short times.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11576/2702471
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