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1.  Impact of Several Types of Stresses on Short-term Memory and Apoptosis in the Hippocampus of Rats 
Purpose
Stress has a deteriorating effect on hippocampal function. It also contributes to symptom exacerbation in many disease states, including overactive bladder and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome. We investigated the effects of various types of stresses (restraint, noise, and cold) on short-term memory and apoptosis in relation with corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) expression.
Methods
Rats in the restraint stress group were restrained in a transparent Plexiglas cylinder for 60 minutes twice daily. Rats in the noise stress group were exposed to the 120 dB supersonic machine sound for 60 minutes twice daily. Rats in the cold stress group were placed in a cold chamber at 4℃ for 60 minutes twice daily. Each stress was applied for 10 days. A step-down avoidance test for short-term memory, immunohistochemistry for caspase-3 expression, and western blot analysis for Bax and Bcl-2 expressions were conducted.
Results
Latency time was decreased and CRF expression in the hippocampal dentate gyrus and hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus were increased in all of the stress groups. The number of caspase-3-positive cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus was increased and the expressions of Bax and Bcl2 in the hippocampus were decreased in all of the stress groups.
Conclusions
All of the stress groups experienced short-term memory impairment induced by apoptosis in the hippocampus. The present results suggest the possibility that these stresses affecting the impairment of short-term memory may also induce functional lower urinary tract disorders.
doi:10.5213/inj.2013.17.3.114
PMCID: PMC3797890  PMID: 24143289
Restrain stress; Noise stress; Cold stress; Short-term memory; Apoptosis
2.  Neuroprotective effects of bovine colostrum on intracerebral hemorrhage-induced apoptotic neuronal cell death in rats☆ 
Neural Regeneration Research  2012;7(22):1715-1721.
Brain cell death after intracerebral hemorrhage may be mediated in part by an apoptotic mechanism. Colostrum is the first milk produced by mammals for their young. It plays an important role in protection and development by providing various antibodies, growth factors and nutrients, and has been used for various diseases in many countries. In the present study, we investigated the anti-apoptotic effects of bovine colostrum using organotypic hippocampal slice cultures and an intracerebral hemorrhage animal model. We performed densitometric measurements of propidium iodide uptake, a step-down avoidance task, Nissl staining, and caspase-3 immunohistochemistry. The present results revealed that colostrum treatment significantly suppressed N-methyl-D-aspartic acid-induced neuronal cell death in the rat hippocampus. Moreover, colostrum treatment improved short-term memory by suppressing hemorrhage-induced apoptotic neuronal cell death and decreasing the volume of the lesion induced by intracerebral hemorrhage in the rat hippocampus. These results suggest that colostrum may have a beneficial role in recovering brain function following hemorrhagic stroke by suppressing apoptotic cell death.
doi:10.3969/j.issn.1673-5374.2012.22.006
PMCID: PMC4302452  PMID: 25624793
intracerebral hemorrhage; organotypic hippocampal slice culture; bovine colostrum; apoptotic cell death; N-methyl-D-aspartic acid; caspase-3; hippocampus; memory
3.  Aerobic Exercise Alleviates Ischemia-Induced Memory Impairment by Enhancing Cell Proliferation and Suppressing Neuronal Apoptosis in Hippocampus 
Purpose
Neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD) is a possible consequence of several neurological disorders. NLUTD may produce debilitating symptoms and serious complications, such as chronic renal failure, and recurrent urinary tract infections. Many animal studies of NLUTD symptoms have focused on animal models of cerebral ischemia. In the present study, we investigated the effects of treadmill exercise on memory function and its relation to cell proliferation and apoptosis in the hippocampus, following transient global ischemia in gerbils.
Methods
To induce transient global ischemia in gerbil, both common carotid arteries were occluded for 5 minutes. Gerbils in the exercise groups were forced to run on a treadmill exercise for 30 minutes once a day for 2 weeks. Step-down avoidance task and Y maze task were performed. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-staining, immunohistochemistry for 5-bromo-2'-deoxyridine, doublecortin, caspase-3, and Western blot for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Bax, Bcl-2, cytochrome c, caspase-3 were conducted.
Results
Ischemia caused memory impairment with an increase of cell proliferation, BDNF expression, and apoptosis in the hippocampus. Treadmill exercise improved memory function with further increase of cell proliferation and BDNF expression and a decrease of apoptosis.
Conclusions
The animal model that we have developed and our assessment of the relation between exercise and brain function can be useful tools for future investigations of NLUTD symptoms associated with stroke, particularly ischemic stroke. The present study suggests that treadmill exercise promoted the recovery of brain function after cerebral ischemia.
doi:10.5213/inj.2014.18.4.187
PMCID: PMC4280438  PMID: 25562035
Ischemia; Cell Proliferation; Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor; Apoptosis; Exercise Test
4.  Treadmill exercise improves motor coordination through ameliorating Purkinje cell loss in amyloid beta23-35-induced Alzheimer’s disease rats 
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a most common age-related neurodegenerative disease. AD is characterized by a progressive loss of neurons causing cognitive dysfunction. The cerebellum is closely associated with integration of movement, including motor coordination, control, and equilibrium. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of tread-mill exercise on the survival of Purkinje neurons in relation with reactive astrocyte in the cerebellum using Aβ25–35–induced AD rats. AD was induced by a bilateral intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of Aβ25–35. The rats in the exercise groups were forced to run on a motorized treadmill for 30 min once a day for 4 weeks, starting 2 days after Aβ25–35 injection. In the present results, ICV injection of Aβ25–35 deteriorated motor coordination and balance. The number of calbindin-positive cells in the cerebellar vermis was decreased and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression in the cerebellar vermis was increased in the Aβ25–35-induced AD rats. Treadmill exercise improved motor coordination and balance. Treadmill exercise increased the number of Purkinje neurons and suppressed GFAP expression in the cerebellar vermis. The present study demonstrated that treadmill exercises alleviated dysfunction of motor coordination and balance by reduction of Purkinje cell loss through suppressing reactive astrocytes in the cerebellum of AD rats. The present study provides the possibility that treadmill exercise might be an important therapeutic strategy for the symptom improvement of AD patients.
doi:10.12965/jer.140163
PMCID: PMC4237839  PMID: 25426461
Alzheimer’s disease; Treadmill exercise; Cerebellum; Motor coordination and balance; Purkinje neurons; Reactive astrocytes
5.  Inhibitory Effects of Isoquinoline Alkaloid Berberine on Ischemia-Induced Apoptosis via Activation of Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase/Protein Kinase B Signaling Pathway 
Purpose
Berberine is a type of isoquinoline alkaloid that has been used to treat various diseases. A neuroprotective effect of berberine against cerebral ischemia has been reported; however, the effects of berberine on apoptosis in relation to reactive astrogliosis and microglia activation under ischemic conditions have not yet been fully evaluated. In the present study, we investigated the effects of berberine on global ischemia-induced apoptosis, and focused on the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathway in the hippocampus using gerbils.
Methods
Gerbils received berberine orally once a day for 14 consecutive days, starting one day after surgery. In this study, a step-down avoidance task was used to assess short-term memory. Furthermore, we employed the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay to evaluate DNA fragmentation, immunohistochemistry to investigate glial fibriallary acidic protein, CD11b, and caspase-3, and western blot to assess PI3K, Akt, Bax, Bcl-2, and cytochrome c.
Results
Our results revealed that berberine treatment alleviated ischemia-induced short-term memory impairment. Treatment with berbeine also attenuated ischemia-induced apoptosis and inhibited reactive astrogliosis and microglia activation. Furthermore, berberine enhanced phospho-PI3K and phospho-Akt expression in the hippocampus of ischemic gerbils.
Conclusions
Berberine exerted a neuroprotective effect against ischemic insult by inhibiting neuronal apoptosis via activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. The antiapoptotic effect of berberine was achieved through inhibition of reactive astrogliosis and microglia activation. Berberine may therefore serve as a therapeutic agent for stroke-induced neurourological problems.
doi:10.5213/inj.2014.18.3.115
PMCID: PMC4180161  PMID: 25279238
Berberine; Brain ischemia; Short-term memory; Apoptosis; Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases
6.  Postnatal treadmill exercise alleviates short-term memory impairment by enhancing cell proliferation and suppressing apoptosis in the hippocampus of rat pups born to diabetic rats 
During pregnancy, diabetes mellitus exerts detrimental effects on the development of the fetus, especially the central nervous system. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of postnatal treadmill exercise on short-term memory in relation with cell proliferation and apoptosis in the hippocampus of rat pups born to streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic maternal rats. Adult female rats were mated with male rats for 24 h. Two weeks after mating, the pregnant female rats were divided into two groups: control group and STZ injection group. The pregnant rats in the STZ injection group were administered 40 mg/kg of STZ intraperitoneally. After birth, the rat pups were divided into the following four groups: control group, control with postnatal exercise group, maternal STZ-injection group, and maternal STZ-injection with postnatal exercise group. The rat pups in the postnatal exercise groups were made to run on a treadmill for 30 min once a day, 5 times per week for 2 weeks beginning 4 weeks after birth. The rat pups born to diabetic rats were shown to have short-term memory impairment with suppressed cell proliferation and increased apoptosis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Postnatal treadmill exercise alleviated short-term memory impairment by increased cell proliferation and suppressed apoptosis in the rat pups born to diabetic rats. These findings indicate that postnatal treadmill exercise may be used as a valuable strategy to ameliorate neurodevelopmental problems in children born to diabetics.
doi:10.12965/jer.140145
PMCID: PMC4157927  PMID: 25210695
Diabetic rats; Treadmill exercise; Cell proliferation; Apoptosis; Rat pups; Hippocampal dentate gyrus
7.  Treadmill exercise ameliorates disturbance of spatial learning ability in scopolamine-induced amnesia rats 
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and this disease induces progressive loss of memory function Scopolamine is a non-selective muscarinic cholinergic receptor antagonist and it induces impairment of learning ability. Exercise is known to ameliorate memory deficits induced by various brain diseases. In the present study, we investigated the effect of treadmill exercise on spatial learning ability in relation with cell proliferation in the hippocampus using the scopolamine-induced amnesia mice. For the induction of amnesia, 1 mg/kg scopolamine hydrobromide was administered intraperitoneally once a day for 14 days. Morris water maze test for spatial learning ability was conducted. Immonofluorescence for 5-bromo-2-deoxyuri-dine (BrdU) and western blot for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) were performed. In the present results, scopolamine-induced amnesia mice showed deterioration of spatial learning ability. Inhibition of cell proliferation and suppression of BDNF and TrkB expressions were observed in the scopolamine-induced amnesia mice. Treadmill exercise improved spatial learning ability and increased cell proliferation through activating of BDNF-TrkB pathway in the amnesia mice. These findings offer a possibility that treadmill exercise may provide preventive or therapeutic value for the memory loss induced by variable neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.
doi:10.12965/jer.140110
PMCID: PMC4106769  PMID: 25061594
Scopolamine; Amnesia; Treadmill exercise; Cell proliferation; Spatial learning ability; Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
8.  Oral mucosa stem cells alleviates spinal cord injury-induced neurogenic bladder symptoms in rats 
Background
Spinal cord injury (SCI) deteriorates various physical functions, in particular, bladder problems occur as a result of damage to the spinal cord. Stem cell therapy for SCI has been focused as the new strategy to treat the injuries and to restore the lost functions. The oral mucosa cells are considered as the stem cells-like progenitor cells. In the present study, we investigated the effects of oral mucosa stem cells on the SCI-induced neurogenic bladder in relation with apoptotic neuronal cell death and cell proliferation.
Results
The contraction pressure and the contraction time in the urinary bladder were increased after induction of SCI, in contrast, transplantation of the oral mucosa stem cells decreased the contraction pressure and the contraction time in the SCI-induced rats. Induction of SCI initiated apoptosis in the spinal cord tissues, whereas treatment with the oral mucosa stem cells suppressed the SCI-induced apoptosis. Disrupted spinal cord by SCI was improved by transplantation of the oral mucosa stem cells, and new tissues were increased around the damaged tissues. In addition, transplantation of the oral mucosa stem cells suppressed SCI-induced neuronal activation in the voiding centers.
Conclusions
Transplantation of oral mucosa stem cells ameliorates the SCI-induced neurogenic bladder symptoms by inhibiting apoptosis and by enhancing cell proliferation. As the results, SCI-induced neuronal activation in the neuronal voiding centers was suppressed, showing the normalization of voiding function.
doi:10.1186/1423-0127-21-43
PMCID: PMC4028106  PMID: 24884998
Spinal cord injury; Oral mucosa stem cells; Cystometry; Apoptosis; Nerve growth factor; c-Fos
9.  Swimming exercise ameliorates multiple sclerosis-induced impairment of short-term memory by suppressing apoptosis in the hippocampus of rats 
Multiple sclerosis is one of the autoimmune diseases in the central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis occurs through multiple mechanisms, and it is also mediated in part by an apoptotic mechanism. Swimming exercise has been recommended for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. In the present study, we investigated the effects of swimming exercise on short-term memory in relation with apoptotic neuronal cell death in the hippocampus following induction of multiple sclerosis. For this study, step-down avoidance task, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay, immunohistochemistry for caspase-3 were performed. The animal model of multiple sclerosis was made by bilateral intracerebral ventricle injection of ethidium bromide. The rats in the swimming exercise groups were forced to swim for 30 min once daily for 14 consecutive days, starting 3 days after induction of multiple sclerosis. In the present results, short-term memory was deteriorated in the multiple sclerosis-induced rats. The number of TUNEL-positive and caspase-3-positive cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus was increased in the multiple sclerosis-induced rats. Swimming exercise alleviated multiple sclerosis-induced short-term memory impairment by suppressing apoptotic neuronal cell death in the hippocampus. These effects of swimming exercise may aid symptom relief in the incurable neurodegenerative diseases.
doi:10.12965/jer.140103
PMCID: PMC4025552  PMID: 24877040
Multiple sclerosis; Swimming; Apoptotic neuronal cell death; Short-term memory
10.  Treadmill Exercise Ameliorates Short-Term Memory Disturbance in Scopolamine-Induced Amnesia Rats 
Purpose
Scopolamine is a nonselective muscarinic cholinergic receptor antagonist, which induces impairment of learning ability and memory function. Exercise is known to ameliorate brain disturbance induced by brain injuries. In the present study, we investigated the effect of treadmill exercise on short-term memory in relation to acetylcholinesterase (AChE) expression in the hippocampus, using a scopolamine-induced amnesia model in mice.
Methods
To induce amnesia, 1 mg/kg scopolamine hydrobromide was administered intraperitoneally once per day for 14 days. A step-down avoidance test for short-term memory was conducted. AChE histochemistry, immunohistochemistry for collagen IV, and doublecortin were performed.
Results
Short-term memory deteriorated in the mice with scopolamine-induced amnesia, concomitant with enhanced AChE expression and suppression of angiogenesis in the hippocampus. Critically, treadmill exercise ameliorated short-term memory impairment, suppressed AChE expression, and enhanced angiogenesis in the mice with scopolamine-induced amnesia.
Conclusions
Overexpression of AChE is implicated in both brain and renal disease. The findings of our study indicate that treadmill exercise may be of therapeutic value in neurodegenerative and renal diseases by suppressing the effects of AChE expression.
doi:10.5213/inj.2014.18.1.16
PMCID: PMC3983504  PMID: 24729923
Amnesia; Exercise test; Short-term memory; Acetylcholinesterase
11.  Treadmill exercise improves short-term memory by enhancing neurogenesis in amyloid beta-induced Alzheimer disease rats 
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most devastating neurodegenerative disorders, and this disease is characterized by severe memory impairment and decline of cognition. Hippocampal neurons are vulnerable to injury induced by Alzheimer’s disease. Physical exercise is known to promote cell survival and functional recovery after brain injuries. In the present study, we investigated the effects of treadmill exercise on short-term memory in relation with neurogenesis in the rats with amyloid β25–35 (Aβ25–35)-induced Alzheimer’s disease. The rat model of Alzheimer’s disease was induced by the intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of Aβ25–35, using a stereotaxic instrument. The rats in the exercise group were forced to run on a treadmill for 30 min once daily for 4 consecutive weeks, starting 2 days after Aβ25–35 injection. Presently, short-term memory was deteriorated and apical dendritic length in the hippocampus was shortened in the hippocampus by Aβ25–35 injection. In contrast, treadmill exercise alleviated memory impairment and increased apical dendritic length in the Aβ25–35-injected rats. Neurogenesis and brain-derived neurotorphic factor (BDNF) and tyrosine kinase B (trkB) in the hippocampal dentate gyrus were decreased by Aβ25–35 injection. Treadmill exercise increased neurogenesis and expressions of BDNF and trkB expressions. The present study shows that treadmill exercise may provide therapeutic value for the alleviating symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
doi:10.12965/jer.140086
PMCID: PMC3952831  PMID: 24678498
Alzheimer’s disease; Treadmill exercise; Short-term memory; Neurogenesis; Apical dendritic length
12.  Effects of endurance exercise on expressions of glial fibrillary acidic protein and myelin basic protein in developing rats with maternal infection-induced cerebral palsy 
Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is a common white matter lesion affecting the neonatal brain. PVL is closely associated with cerebral palsy (CP) and characterized by increase in the number of astrocytes, which can be detected by positivity for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Change in myelin basic protein (MBP) is an early sign of white matter abnormality. Maternal or placental infection can damage the neonatal brain. In the present study, we investigated the effects of treadmill walking exercise on GFAP and MBP expressions in rats with maternal lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced PVL. Immunohistochemistry was performed for the detection of GFAP and MBP. The present results showed that intracervical maternal LPS injection during pregnancy increased GFAP expression in the striatum and decreased MBP expression in the corpus callosum of rats. The results also showed that treadmill walking exercise suppressed GFAP expression and enhanced MBP expression in the brains of rats with maternal LPS-induced PVL. The present study revealed that treadmill walking exercise is effective for the suppressing astrogliosis and hypomyelination associated with PVL. Here in this study, we showed that treadmill walking exercise may be effective therapeutic strategy for alleviating the detrimental effects of CP.
doi:10.12965/jer.140084
PMCID: PMC3952836  PMID: 24678499
Periventricular leukomalacia; Cerebral palsy; Glial fibrillary acidic protein; Myelin basic protein; Treadmill walking exercise
13.  Treadmill exercise alleviates prenatal noise stress-induced impairment of spatial learning ability through enhancing hippocampal neurogenesis in rat pups 
Stress alters brain cell properties and then disturbs cognitive processes, such as learning and memory. In this study, we investigated the effect of postnatal treadmill exercise on hippocampal neurogenesis and spatial learning ability of rat pups following prenatal noise stress. The impact of exercise intensity (mild-intensity exercise vs heavy-intensity exercise) was also compared. The pregnant rats in the stress-applied group were exposed to a 95 dB supersonic machine sound for 1 h once a day from the 15th day after mating until delivery. After birth, the rat pups in the exercise groups were made to run on a treadmill for 30 min once a day for 7 consecutive days, starting 4 weeks after birth. The spatial learning ability was tested using radial-arm maze task and hippocampal neurogenesis was determined by 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) immunohistochemistry. The rat pups born from the stress-applied maternal rats spent more time for the seeking of water and showed higher number of error in the radial-arm maze task compared to the control group. These rat pups showed suppressed neurogenesis in the hippocampus. In contrast, the rat pups performed postnatal treadmill exercise saved time for seeking of water and showed lower number of error compared to the stress-applied group. Postnatal treadmill exercise also enhanced neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The mild-intensity exercise showed more potent impact compared to the heavy-intensity exercise. The present results reveal that postnatal treadmill exercise lessens prenatal stress-induced deterioration of brain function in offspring.
doi:10.12965/jer.130064
PMCID: PMC3836547  PMID: 24282804
Prenatal noise stress; Postnatal treadmill exercise; Spatial learning ability; Neurogenrsis
14.  The impact of duration of one bout treadmill exercise on cell proliferation and central fatigue in rats 
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of the duration-dependence of the one bout treadmill exercise on cell proliferation, stress, and central fatigue in rats. The animals were randomly divided into five groups: the non-exercise group, 1-h exercise group, 2-h exercise group, 4-h exercise group, and 6-h exercise group. The exercise load consisted of running at speed of 13 meters/min with the 0° inclination. Cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus was increased in response to one bout moderate treadmill exercise in all exercise groups. But there was no statistical significance between the exercise duration and cell proliferation. The optical density of glucocorticoid (GR)-positive cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus was not changed by treadmill exercise at any exercise duration. Expressions of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and tryptophan hyroxylase (TPH) were increased by treadmill exercise only at 6 h duration. It seemed like that there was no additional benefits on cell proliferation over 2 h exercise due to stressful factors with over exercise dose, and there was no change of GR expression due to early assessment point of time. It can be suggested that the one-bout of moderate treadmill exercise increased cell proliferation, but treadmill exercise prolonged to 6 h induced central fatigue in rats.
doi:10.12965/jer.130069
PMCID: PMC3836548  PMID: 24282806
Treadmill exercise; Exercise duration; Cell proliferation; Glucocorticoid receptor; 5-hydroxytryptamine; Tryptophan hyroxylase
15.  An animal study to compare the degree of the suppressive effects on the afferent pathways of micturition between tamsulosin and sildenafil 
Background
Tamsulosin, an α1-adrenoceptor antagonist, and sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor, are reported to improve lower urinary tract symptoms including overactive bladder (OAB). This study is aimed at investing the effects of tamsulosin and sildenafil and comparing the degree of the suppressive effects on the afferent pathways of micturition between them using an animal model of OAB, the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR).
Results
The cystometric parameters, the basal pressure and duration of bladder contraction, were significantly increased in the SHR group as compared with the Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) group. The intercontraction interval also significantly decreased in the SHR group. In the SHR-Tam 0.01 mg/kg group and the SHR-Sil 1 mg/kg group, however, the basal pressure and duration were significantly reduced and the intercontraction interval was significantly prolonged. Moreover, the degree of the expression of c-Fos and NGF was significantly higher in the SHR group as compared with the WKY group. But it was significantly reduced in the SHR-Tam 0.01 mg/kg group and the SHR-Sil 1 mg/kg group. Furthermore, tamsulosin had a higher degree of effect as compared with sildenafil.
Conclusions
In conclusion, α1-adrenergic receptor antagonists and PDE-5 inhibitors may have an effect in improving the voiding functions through an inhibition of the neuronal activity in the afferent pathways of micturition.
doi:10.1186/1423-0127-20-81
PMCID: PMC3871018  PMID: 24160992
Overactive bladder syndrome; Tamsulosin; Sildenafil; Neuronal activity; Afferent pathways of micturition
16.  Treadmill exercise ameliorates impairment of spatial learning ability through enhancing dopamine expression in hypoxic ischemia brain injury in neonatal rats 
Substantia nigra and striatum are vulnerable to hypoxic ischemia brain injury. Physical exercise promotes cell survival and functional recovery after brain injury. However, the effects of treadmill exercise on nigro-striatal dopaminergic neuronal loss induced by hypoxic ischemia brain injury in neonatal stage are largely unknown. We determined the effects of treadmill exercise on survival of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra and dopaminergic fibers in the striatum after hypoxic ischemia brain injury. On postnatal 7 day, left common carotid artery of the neonatal rats ligated for two hours and the neonatal rats were exposed to hypoxia conditions for one hour. The rat pups in the exercise groups were forced to run on a motorized treadmill for 30 min once a day for 12 weeks, starting 22 days after induction of hypoxic ischemia brain injury. Spatial learning ability in rat pups was determined by Morris water maze test after last treadmill exercise. The viability of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra and dopamine fibers in the striatum were analyzed using immunohistochemistry. In this study, hypoxic ischemia injury caused loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra and dopaminergic fibers in the striatum. Induction of hypoxic ischemia deteriorated spatial learning ability. Treadmill exercise ameliorated nigro-striatal dopaminergic neuronal loss, resulting in the improvement of spatial learning ability. The present study suggests the possibility that treadmill exercise in early adolescent period may provide a useful strategy for the recovery after neonatal hypoxic ischemia brain injury.
doi:10.12965/jer.130053
PMCID: PMC3836536  PMID: 24278893
Hypoxic ischemia; Substantia nigra; Striatum; Dopamine; Treadmill exercise
17.  Exposure to Music and Noise During Pregnancy Influences Neurogenesis and Thickness in Motor and Somatosensory Cortex of Rat Pups 
Purpose
Prenatal environmental conditions affect the development of the fetus. In the present study, we investigated the effects of exposure to music and noise during pregnancy on neurogenesis and thickness in the motor and somatosensory cortex of rat pups.
Methods
The pregnant rats in the music-applied group were exposed to 65 dB of comfortable music for 1 hour, once per day, from the 15th day of pregnancy until delivery. The pregnant rats in the noise-applied group were exposed to 95 dB of sound from a supersonic sound machine for 1 hour, once per day, from the 15th day of pregnancy until delivery. After birth, the offspring were left undisturbed together with their mother. The rat pups were sacrificed at 21 days after birth.
Results
Exposure to music during pregnancy increased neurogenesis in the motor and somatosensory cortex of rat pups. In contrast, rat pups exposed to noise during pregnancy showed decreased neurogenesis and thickness in the motor and somatosensory cortex.
Conclusions
Our study suggests that music and noise during the developmental period are important factors influencing brain development and urogenital disorders.
doi:10.5213/inj.2013.17.3.107
PMCID: PMC3797889  PMID: 24143288
Music; Noise; Neurogenesis; Motor cortex; Somatosensory cortex
18.  Treadmill exercise alleviates short-term memory impairment in 6-hydroxydopamine-induced Parkinson’s rats 
Progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra is a key pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. In the present study, we investigated the effects of treadmill exercise on short-term memory, apoptotic dopaminergic neuronal cell death and fiber loss in the nigrostriatum, and cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of Parkinson’s rats. Parkinson’s rats were made by injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the striatum using stereotaxic instrument. Four weeks after 6-OHDA injection, the rats in the 6-OHDA-injection group exhibited significant rotational asymmetry following apomorphine challenge. The rats in the exercise groups were put on the treadmill to run for 30 min once a day for 14 consecutive days starting 4 weeks after 6-OHDA injection. In the present results, extensive degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra with loss of dopaminergic fibers in the striatum were produced in the rats without treadmill running, which resulted in short-term memory impairment. However, the rats performing treadmill running for 2 weeks alleviated nigrostriatal dopaminergic cell loss and alleviated short-term memory impairment with increasing cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of Parkinson’s rats. The present results show that treadmill exercise may provide therapeutic value for the Parkinson’s disease.
doi:10.12965/jer.130048
PMCID: PMC3836534  PMID: 24278884
Parkinson’s rats; 6-Hydroxydopamine; Treadmill exercise; Cell proliferation; Apoptosis
19.  Treadmill exercise improves behavioral outcomes and spatial learning memory through up-regulation of reelin signaling pathway in autistic rats 
Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disability with impairments of social interaction and communication, and repetitive behavior. Reelin is an extracellular glycoprotein that is essential for neuronal migration and brain development. Neuroprotective effects of exercise on various brain insults are well documented, however, the effects of exercise on autism in relation with reelin expression are not clarified. In the present study, we investigated the effects of treadmill exercise on the functional recovery and on the expressions of reelin and its downstream molecules, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K), phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt), phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1 and 2 (p-ERK1/2), using autistic rats. For the induction of autism-like animal model, 400 mg/kg valproic acid was subcutaneously injected into the rats on the postnatal day 14. The rat in the treadmill exercise groups were forced to run on a treadmill for 30 min once a day, five times a week for 4 weeks, starting postnatal day 28. To investigate autism-like behaviors and memory deficit, open field, social interaction, and radial 8-arm maze were performed. Immunohistochemistry and western blotting were conducted. In the present results, treadmill exercise alleviated aggressive tendency and improved correct decision in the spatial learning memory in the autistic rats. Treadmill exercise increased neurogenesis and the expressions of reelin and its down-stream molecules, PI3K, p-Akt, and p-ERK1/2, in the hippocampus of the autistic rats. The present study showed that treadmill exercise ameliorated aggressive behavior and improved spatial learning memory through activation of reeling signaling pathway in the valproic acid-induced autistic rats.
doi:10.12965/jer.130003
PMCID: PMC3836510  PMID: 24278864
Autism; Valproic acid; Treadmill exercise; Reelin; Hippocampus; Neurogenesis
20.  Effects of Tamsulosin on Urinary Bladder Function and Neuronal Activity in the Voiding Centers of Rats with Cyclophosphamide-induced Overactive Bladder 
Purpose
The overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome is characterized by urgency usually with frequency and nocturia. Tamsulosin, α1-adrenergic receptor antagonist, is widely used to reduce symptoms of urinary obstruction and prostatic hyperplasia. Tamsulosin can across the blood-brain barrier. We investigated the effects of tamsulosin on the symptoms of OAB in relation to neuronal activity using rats.
Methods
Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats, weighing 250±10 g (9 weeks old), were used in this study. The animals were divided into five groups (n=8 in each group): control group, OAB-induced group, OAB-induced and 0.01 mg/kg tamsulosin-treated group, OAB-induced and 0.1 mg/kg tamsulosin-treated group, and OAB-induced and 1 mg/kg tamsulosin-treated group. OAB was induced by intraperitoneal injection of cyclophosphamide (75 mg/kg) every third day for 10 days. The rats in the tamsulosin-treated groups orally received tamsulosin once a day for 14 consecutive days at the respective dose of the groups, starting 1 day after the induction of OAB. Cystometry for bladder pressure determination, immunohistochemistry for c-Fos, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase histochemistry for nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in the neuronal voiding centers and western blot for inducible NOS in the bladder were conducted.
Results
Cyclophosphamide injection enhanced contraction pressure and time, representing the induction of OAB. Contraction pressure and time were significantly suppressed by tamsulosin treatment. c-Fos and NOS expressions in the neuronal voiding centers were enhanced by induction of OAB. OAB-induced c-Fos and NOS expressions were suppressed by tamsulosin treatment.
Conclusions
Tamsulosin exerts inhibitory effect on neuronal activation in the neuronal voiding centers of OAB. The present results suggest the possibility that tamsulosin is effective therapeutic modality for ameliorating the symptoms of OAB.
doi:10.5213/inj.2012.16.1.13
PMCID: PMC3321398  PMID: 22500249
Overactive bladder; Cyclophosphamide; Tamsulosin; Rats
21.  Remifentanil alleviates transient cerebral ischemia-induced memory impairment through suppression of apoptotic neuronal cell death in gerbils 
Background
During neurosurgical procedures, patients are often exposed to hypoxic and ischemic brain damage. Cerebral ischemia leads to neuronal cell death and eventually causes neurological impairments. Remifentanil is a new ultra-short acting phenylpiperidine opioid analgesic. In this study, we evaluated remifentanil to determine if it exerts an anti-apoptotic effect in the hippocampal dentate gyrus following transient global ischemia in gerbils.
Methods
Step-down avoidance task, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay, and immunohistochemical staining for caspase-3 were performed.
Results
The numbers of TUNEL-positive cells and caspase-3-positive cells in the dentate gyrus were increased by ransient global ischemia. Latency in the step-down avoidance task was increased by transient global ischemia. Results revealed that apoptotic cell death in the dentate gyrus was increased significantly following transient global ischemia, resulting in memory impairment. However, treatment with remifentanil suppressed ischemia-induced apoptosis in the dentate gyrus, thereby alleviating the memory impairment that was induced by ischemic cerebral injury.
Conclusions
These results indicate that remifentanil may exert a neuroprotective effect on ischemic brain damage during surgery.
doi:10.4097/kjae.2011.61.1.63
PMCID: PMC3155139  PMID: 21860753
Apoptosis; Memory deficit; Remifenanil; Transient cerebral ischemia
22.  Swimming: Effects on Stress Urinary Incontinence and the Expression of Nerve Growth Factor in Rats Following Transabdominal Urethrolysis 
Purpose
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) commonly occurs in women, and it has an enormous impact on quality of life. Surgery, drugs, and exercise have been recommended for the treatment of this disease. Among these, exercise is known to be effective for the relief of symptoms of SUI; however, the efficacy and underlying mechanisms of the effect of exercise on SUI are poorly understood. We investigated the effect of swimming the symptom of SUI in relation to the expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) in rats.
Methods
Transabdominal urethrolysis was used to induce SUI, in Sprague-Dawley rats. The experimental groups were divided into the following three groups: sham-operation group, transabdominal urethrolysis-induced group, and transabdominal urethrolysis-induced and swimming group. The rats in the swimming group were forced to swim for 30 minutes once daily starting 2 weeks after SUI induction and continuing for 4 weeks. For this study, determination of abdominal leak point pressure and immunohistochemistry for NGF in the urethra and in the neuronal voiding centers (medial preoptic nucleus [MPA], ventrolateral periaqueductal gray [vlPAG], pontine micturition center [PMC], and spinal cord [L4-L5]) were performed.
Results
Transabdominal urethrolysis significantly reduced the abdominal leak point pressure, thereby contributing to the induction of SUI. Abdominal leak point pressure, however, was significantly improved by swimming. The expression of NGF in the urethra and in the neuronal voiding centers (MPA, vlPAG, PMC, and L4-L5) relating to micturition was enhanced by the induction of SUI. Swimming, however, significantly suppressed SUI-induced NGF expression.
Conclusions
Swimming alleviated symptoms of transabdominal urethrolysis-induced SUI, as assessed by an increase in abdominal leak point pressure. The underlying mechanisms of these effects of swimming might be ascribed to the inhibitory effect of swimming on NGF expression.
doi:10.5213/inj.2011.15.2.74
PMCID: PMC3138847  PMID: 21811696
Urinary incontinence; Swimming; Nerve growth factor; Rats
23.  Vardenafil Enhances Oxytocin Expression in the Paraventricular Nucleus without Sexual Stimulation 
Purpose
Oxytocin is associated with the ability to form normal social attachments. c-Fos is an immediate early gene whose expression is used as a marker for stimulus-induced changes in neurons. The effect of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors on oxytocin activation in the brain without sexual stimuli has not yet been reported. In the present study, we investigated the effects of vardenafil on oxytocin and c-Fos expression in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of conscious rats.
Methods
Male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 300±10 g were divided into 6 groups (n=5 in each group): the control group, the 1-day-0.5 mg/kg, the 1-day-1 mg/kg, the 1-day-2 mg/kg, the 3-day-1 mg/kg, and the 7-day-1 mg/kg vardenafil administration group. The experiment was conducted without sexual stimulation. Vardenafil was orally administered. The animals in the control group received an equivalent amount of distilled water orally. The expression of oxytocin and c-Fos in the PVN was detected by immunohistochemistry.
Results
Oxytocin expression in the PVN was increased by 1 day administration of 2 mg/kg vardenafil, and this effect of vardenafil appeared in a duration-dependent manner. c-Fos in the oxytocin neurons of the PVN was increased by 1 day administration of 2 mg/kg vardenafil, and this effect of vardenafil also appeared in a duration-dependent manner. These results showed that vardenafil augments the expression of oxytocin with activation of oxytocin neurons in the PVN.
Conclusions
In this study, we showed that the PDE-5 inhibitor, vardenafil directly enhances oxytocin expression and also activates oxytocin neurons in the PVN, which indicates that vardenafil may exert positive effects on affiliation behavior and social interaction.
doi:10.5213/inj.2010.14.4.213
PMCID: PMC3021811  PMID: 21253331
Vardenafil; Oxytocin; c-Fos; Paraventricular nucleus; Rats
24.  Vardenafil Increases Cell Proliferation in the Dentate Gyrus through Enhancement of Serotonin Expression in the Rat Dorsal Raphe 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;24(6):1099-1104.
This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of vardenafil (Levitra), a phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor, on cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus and on 5-hyroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) synthesis and tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) expression in the rat dorsal raphe nucleus. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 6 groups (n=5 in each group): a control group, a 0.5 mg/kg-1 day vardenafil-treated group, a 1 mg/kg-1 day vardenafil-treated group, a 2 mg/kg-1 day vardenafil-treated group, a 1 mg/kg-3 day vardenafil-treated group, and a 1 mg/kg-7 day vardenafil-treated group. 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) immunohistochemistry was then performed to evaluate cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus. In addition, 5-HT and TPH immunohistochemistry was conducted to evaluate serotonin expression in the dorsal raphe. The results revealed that treatment with vardenafil increased cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus and enhanced 5-HT synthesis and TPH expression in the dorsal raphe in a dose- and duration-dependent manner. The findings demonstrate that the increasing effect of vardenafil on cell proliferation is closely associated with the enhancing effect of vardenafil on serotonin expression under normal conditions.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2009.24.6.1099
PMCID: PMC2775858  PMID: 19949666
Vardenafil; Dentate Gyrus; Cell Proliferation; Serotonin; Tryptophan Hydroxylase
25.  Adaptive Responses Induced by Low Dose Radiation in Dentate Gyrus of Rats 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2006;21(6):1103-1107.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the mechanism of alternative responses to low dose irradiation for neuronal cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus of rats. To determine the effect of a single exposure to radiation, rats were irradiated with a single dose of 0.1, 1, 10 or 20 Gy. To determine the effect of the cumulative dose, the animals were irradiated daily with 0.01 Gy or 0.1 Gy from 1 to 4 days. The neuronal cell proliferation was evaluated using immunohistochemistry for 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU), Ki-67 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) staining. Four consecutive daily irradiations with a 0.01 Gy/fraction increased the number of BrdU-positive and Ki-67-positive cells in a dose dependent manner, but this did not affect the number of TUNEL-positive cells. However, there was not a dose dependent relationship for the 0.1 Gy/fraction irradiation with the number of BrdU, Ki-67 and TUNEL positive cells. Our data support the explanation that the adaptive response, induced by low-dose radiation, in the hippocampus of rats is more likely a reflection of the perturbations of cell cycle progression.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2006.21.6.1103
PMCID: PMC2721937  PMID: 17179695
Adaptive Response; Radiation Effects; Hippocampus Neurons

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