Spatial memory is improved by aerobic and resistance exercise through divergent molecular mechanisms

Spatial memory is improved by aerobic and resistance exercise through divergent molecular mechanisms

Author Cassilhas, Ricardo Cardoso Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Lee, Kil Sun Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Fernandes, Jansen Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Oliveira, Maria Gabriela Menezes de Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Tufik, Sergio Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Meeusen, R. Google Scholar
Mello, Marco Tulio de Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Institution Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Vrije Univ Brussel
Abstract A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that exercise has a positive impact on human health, including neurological health. Aerobic exercise, which is supposed to enhance cardiovascular functions and metabolism, also induces neurotrophic factors that affect hippocampal neurons, thereby improving spatial learning and memory. Alternatively, little is known about the effect of resistance exercise on hippocampus-dependent memory, although this type of exercise is increasingly recommended to improve muscle strength and bone density and to prevent age-related disabilities. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of resistance training on spatial memory and the signaling pathways of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), comparing these effects with those of aerobic exercise. Adult male Wistar rats underwent 8 weeks of aerobic training on a treadmill (AERO group) or resistance training on a vertical ladder (RES group). Control and sham groups were also included. After the training period, both AERO and RES groups showed improved learning and spatial memory in a similar manner. However, both groups presented distinct signaling pathways. Although the AERO group showed increased level of IGF-1, BDNF, TrkB, and g-CaMKII (calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II) in the hippocampus, the RES group showed an induction of peripheral and hippocampal IGF-1 with concomitant activation of receptor for IGF-1 (IGF-1R) and AKT in the hippocampus. These distinct pathways culminated in an increase of synapsin 1 and synaptophysin expression in both groups. These findings demonstrated that both aerobic and resistance exercise can employ divergent molecular mechanisms but achieve similar results on learning and spatial memory. (C) 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords Spatial learning
Physical exercise
Water maze
Language English
Sponsor Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP)
Research Incentive Fund Association (AFIP)
Psychobiology and Exercise Research Center (CEPE)
Multidisciplinary Center for the Study of Drowsiness and Accidents (CEMSA)
Research Innovation and Dissemination Centers-SLEEP (CEPID-Sleep)
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)
Grant number FAPESP: 2008/03083-6
Date 2012-01-27
Published in Neuroscience. Oxford: Pergamon-Elsevier B.V., v. 202, p. 309-317, 2012.
ISSN 0306-4522 (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Elsevier B.V.
Extent 309-317
Access rights Closed access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000299908000029

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