Changes in mRNA levels for brain-derived neurotrophic factor after wheel running in rats selectively bred for high- and low-aerobic capacity Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Groves-Chapman, Jessica L; Murray, Patrick S; Stevens, Kristin L; Monroe, Derek C; Koch, Lauren G; Britton, Steven L; Holmes, Philip V; Dishman, Rod K


  • We evaluated levels of exercise-induced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) messenger RNA (mRNA) within the hippocampal formation in rats selectively bred for 1) high intrinsic (i.e., untrained) aerobic capacity (High Capacity Runners, HCR), 2) low intrinsic aerobic capacity (Low Capacity Runners, LCR), and 3) unselected Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats with or without free access to running wheels for 3 weeks. The specific aim of the study was to determine whether a dose-response relationship exists between cumulative running distance and levels of BDNF mRNA. No additional treatments or behavioral manipulations were used. HCR, LCR, and SD rats were grouped by strain and randomly assigned to sedentary or activity (voluntary access to activity wheel) conditions. Animals were killed after 21 days of exposure to the assigned conditions. Daily running distances (mean ± standard deviation meters/day) during week three were: HCR (4726 ± 3220), SD (2293 ± 3461), LCR (672 ± 323). Regardless of strain, levels of BDNF mRNA in CA1 were elevated in wheel runners compared to sedentary rats and this difference persisted after adjustment for age (p=0.040). BDNF mRNA was not affected by intrinsic aerobic capacity and was not related to total running distance. The results support that BDNF mRNA expression is increased by unlimited access to activity wheel running for 3 weeks but is not dependent upon accumulated running distance.

publication date

  • 2011

published in

start page

  • 90

end page

  • 7


  • 1425