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Abstract Details

Abstract Title

Maternal exercise during pregnancy increases BDNF levels and cell numbers in the hippocampal formation of adult rat offspring

Abstract Theme

Neuroscience and sport

Type Presentation

Poster

Abstract Authors

Presenter Sérgio Gomes da Silva - Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein (Brain Institute) - BR
Alexandre Aparecido de Almeida - Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) (Departamento de Fisiologia) - BR
Jansen Fernandes - Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) (Departamento de Fisiologia) - BR
Glauber Menezes Lopim - Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) (Departamento de Fisiologia) - BR
Francisco Romero Cabral - Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein (Brain Institute) - BR
Débora Amado Scerni - Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) (Disciplina de Neurologia Experimental) - BR
Ana Virgínia de Oliveira-Pinto - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) (Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas) - BR
Roberto Lent - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) (Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas) - BR
Ricardo Mario Arida - Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) (Departamento de Fisiologia) - BR

Presentation Details

Poster Exhibition Site (Local): Orange - 5        Date: 1 September        Time: 8am to 7pm        Presenter: Sérgio Gomes da Silva

Abstract Resume

Background: Clinical evidence has shown that physical exercise during pregnancy may alter brain development and improve cognitive function of offspring. However, the mechanisms
through which maternal exercise might promote such effects are not well understood. The present study examined levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and absolute cell numbers in the
hippocampal formation and cerebral cortex of rat pups born from mothers exercised during pregnancy. Additionally, we evaluated the cognitive abilities of adult offspring in different behavioral
paradigms (exploratory activity and habituation in open field tests, spatial memory in a water maze test, and aversive memory in a step-down inhibitory avoidance task).

Methods: Pregnant rats at gestational day 1 (G1) were randomly assigned into two groups: exercise (n = 17) and control (n = 15). Rats from the exercise group were submitted to aerobic
physical exercise in a treadmill (12 m/min over 30 min per day) from 1st to 20th day of pregnancy. The pregnant rats of the control group were transferred to the experimental room and kept on
treadmill stopped. After birth, pups from exercise and control groups were housed with their mother in individual cages until weaning at postnatal day 21 (P21). At P60, male offspring from all groups
were randomly selected to analyze the BDNF levels by mean of ELISA, the total number of cells by isotropic fractionator method, and the behavioral parameters by open field apparatus (exploratory
activity and habituation), water maze (spatial memory) and inhibitory avoidance task (aversive memory).

Results: Results showed that maternal exercise during pregnancy increased BDNF levels and absolute numbers of neuronal and non-neuronal cells in the hippocampal formation of
offspring. No differences in BDNF levels or cell numbers were detected in the cerebral cortex. It was also observed that offspring from exercised mothers exhibited better cognitive performance in
nonassociative (habituation) and associative (spatial learning) mnemonic tasks than did offspring from sedentary mothers.

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that maternal exercise during pregnancy enhances offspring cognitive function (habituation behavior and spatial learning) and increases BDNF levels
and cell numbers in the hippocampal formation of offspring.


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