Author(s): Pereira AC, Huddleston DE, Brickman AM, Sosunov AA, Hen R,
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Abstract With continued debate over the functional significance of adult neurogenesis, identifying an in vivo correlate of neurogenesis has become an important goal. Here we rely on the coupling between neurogenesis and angiogenesis and test whether MRI measurements of cerebral blood volume (CBV) provide an imaging correlate of neurogenesis. First, we used an MRI approach to generate CBV maps over time in the hippocampal formation of exercising mice. Among all hippocampal subregions, exercise was found to have a primary effect on dentate gyrus CBV, the only subregion that supports adult neurogenesis. Moreover, exercise-induced increases in dentate gyrus CBV were found to correlate with postmortem measurements of neurogenesis. Second, using similar MRI technologies, we generated CBV maps over time in the hippocampal formation of exercising humans. As in mice, exercise was found to have a primary effect on dentate gyrus CBV, and the CBV changes were found to selectively correlate with cardiopulmonary and cognitive function. Taken together, these findings show that dentate gyrus CBV provides an imaging correlate of exercise-induced neurogenesis and that exercise differentially targets the dentate gyrus, a hippocampal subregion important for memory and implicated in cognitive aging.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research