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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 186-193

Exercise-induced increases of corticosterone contribute to exercise-enhanced adult hippocampal neurogenesis in mice


1 Taiwan International Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience, National Cheng Kung University and Academia Sinica, Taipei; Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
2 Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, College of Medicine; Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
3 National Laboratory Animal Center, Taipei, Taiwan
4 Department of Chinese Medicine for Post-Baccalaureate, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ting-Ting Yang
Department of Chinese Medicine for Post-Baccalaureate, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung
Taiwan
Dr. Yu-Min Kuo
Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, No. 1 University Road, Tainan 701
Taiwan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cjp.cjp_39_21

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Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) is suppressed by chronic stress. The negative effect of stress is mainly attributed to increased levels of stress hormones (e.g. glucocorticoids, GCs). Exercise enhances AHN, yet it also stimulates GC secretion. To delineate the paradoxical role of GCs, we took the advantage of a unique mouse strain (L/L) which exhibits an inert response to stress-induced secretion of GCs to study the role of GCs in exercise-induced AHN. Our results showed that basal corticosterone (CORT), the main GCs in rodents, levels were similar between the L/L mice and wild-type (WT) mice. However, levels of CORT in the L/L mice were barely altered and significantly lower than those of the WT mice during treadmill running (TR). AHN was enhanced by 4 weeks of TR in the WT mice, but not L/L mice. WT mice that received daily injection of CORT to evoke serum CORT levels similar to those during exercise for 4 weeks did not affect AHN, whereas injection with large amount of CORT inhibited AHN. Taken together, our results indicated that exercise-related elevation of CORT participates in exercise-enhanced AHN. CORT alone is not sufficient to elicit AHN and may inhibit AHN if the levels are high.


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