Abstract: Although physical exercise is an effective strategy for treatment of ischemic stroke, the underlying protective mechanisms are still not well understood. It has been recently demonstrated that neural progenitor cells play a vital role in the recovery of neurological function (NF) through differentiation into mature neurons. In the current study, we observed that physical exercise significantly reduced the infarct size and improved damaged neural functional recovery after an ischemic stroke. Furthermore, we found that the treatment not only exhibited a significant increase in the number of neural progenitor cells and neurons but also decreased the apoptotic cells in the peri-infarct region, compared to a control in the absence of exercise. Importantly, the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)/Akt signaling pathway was dramatically activated in the peri-infarct region of rats after physical exercise training. Therefore, our findings suggest that physical exercise directly influences the NF recovery process by increasing neural progenitor cell count via activation of the IGF-1/Akt signaling pathway.
Keywords: physical exercise; IGF-1; Akt; apoptosis; neurogenesis; middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)
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Zheng, H.-Q.; Zhang, L.-Y.; Luo, J.; Li, L.-L.; Li, M.; Zhang, Q.; Hu, X.-Q. Physical Exercise Promotes Recovery of Neurological Function after Ischemic Stroke in Rats. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 10974-10988.
Zheng H-Q, Zhang L-Y, Luo J, Li L-L, Li M, Zhang Q, Hu X-Q. Physical Exercise Promotes Recovery of Neurological Function after Ischemic Stroke in Rats. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2014; 15(6):10974-10988.
Zheng, Hai-Qing; Zhang, Li-Ying; Luo, Jing; Li, Li-Li; Li, Menglin; Zhang, Qingjie; Hu, Xi-Quan. 2014. "Physical Exercise Promotes Recovery of Neurological Function after Ischemic Stroke in Rats." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 15, no. 6: 10974-10988.