Effect of 10-day forced treadmill training on neurotrophic factors in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Darpan I Patel, Lesley J White
Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism 2013, 38 (2): 194-9
The impact of exercise on disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) is unclear. In the present study, we evaluated the clinical effects of forced wheel running on rats induced with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of MS. Female Lewis rats (n = 40) were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups prior to inoculation: EAE exercise (EAE-Ex), EAE sedentary (EAE-Sed), control exercise (Con-Ex), or control sedentary (Con-Sed). Exercise training was composed of forced treadmill running at increasing intensity across 10 consecutive days. No significant differences in clinical disability were observed in the EAE groups at the conclusion of this study. Furthermore, no significant differences in brain mass were observed across groups. Analysis of brain tissue proteins revealed that tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) concentrations were higher in both EAE groups compared with the control groups (p < 0.05); however, no significant differences were seen between the EAE-Ex and EAE-Sed groups. The Con-Ex group had lower whole-brain TNF-α compared with the Con-Sed group (p < 0.05). Nerve growth factor concentrations were greater in the EAE-Ex animals compared with both control groups (p < 0.05 for both). No differences were seen in brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Our results indicate that aerobic exercise can modulate the proteins associated with disability in EAE; however, further research is required to understand the total impact of exercise on EAE disability and disease progression.

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