Downhill training upregulates mice hippocampal and striatal brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels
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This study examined the effects of downhill treadmill exercise on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein on the hippocampus and striatum of mice. Twenty-four adult mice were assigned to three groups: non-runners control, level or downhill (16 degrees decline) running exercise. The exercise schedule consisted of progressive treadmill running for 5 days week(-1) over 8 weeks. Blood lactate levels classified exercise intensity as moderate to high. Both training types increased citrate synthase activity of the soleus muscle when compared to untrained controls. While level running increased BDNF levels selectively in the hippocampus (68.5%), the eccentric running resulted in a pronounced BDNF increase in both the hippocampus (137.0%) and the striatum (49.9%). Further studies will specify whether the observed alterations in BDNF are due to downhill-induced upregulation or complex learning-induced mechanisms that influence BDNF levels in these brain regions.
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