Author(s): Chen YC, Lei JL, Chen QS, Wang SL
Abstract Share this page
Abstract We investigated the effect of a moderate amount of prolonged physical training initiated at 3 months of age on the age-related changes of the hippocampal and cortical cholinergic fibers. A total of 80 male C57BL/6J mice were divided into five groups which were trained (including adult and old trained, AT and OT), sedentary (adult and old sedentary, AS and OS) and young (Y). From 3 months old, the mice of the trained groups were treated with a voluntary running wheel for 1 h each day, 5 days per week. AT had been trained up to 13-month-old whereas OT up to 24 months old. At the same time, the mice of the sedentary groups were put in immobilized wheels. We set the criterion for effective training in the trained mice such that the heart-to-body weight ratio should be at least 2 S.D. above the mean in the age-matched groups. Using AChE histochemistry and stereology, the AChE-positive fibers were analyzed quantitatively in the molecular layers in CA1, CA3 and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation, and in III, V layers in the motor and somatosensory cortex. Comparison of Y, AS and OS (3, 13 and 24 months of age) showed minimum AChE-positive fiber density in the hippocampal formation and the cortex in OS (P < 0.01). After 10 and 21 months of running, the AChE-positive fibers in all regions examined in the trained groups were significantly increased compared to their age-matched controls (P < 0.05 or 0.01). In the hippocampal formation, the increase was about 17\% in AT and 23\% in OT, whereas, in the cortex, it was 13\% in AT and 22\% in OT. These results indicated that a moderate amount of prolonged physical training could modify the age-related loss of cholinergic fibers in the hippocampal formation and cortex, furthermore the modified loss of cholinergic fibers might be associated with the regeneration of hippocampal and cortical cholinergic fibers stimulated by chronic running.
This article was published in Mech Ageing Dev
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research