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Neuroprotective Effects of Physical Activity via the Adaptation of Astrocytes

Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Human, Histology and Movement Science Section, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia n°87, 95100 Catania, Italy
Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (LCMN), School of Life Science, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
Laboratory of Neural Structure and Function (LNSF), School of Medical Sciences, (Anatomy and Histology), Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Research Center on Motor Activities (CRAM), University of Catania, Via S. Sofia n°97, 95100 Catania, Italy
Department of Biology, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, College of Science and Technology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jean Marie Billard
Cells 2021, 10(6), 1542;
Received: 28 May 2021 / Revised: 14 June 2021 / Accepted: 14 June 2021 / Published: 18 June 2021
The multifold benefits of regular physical exercise have been largely demonstrated in human and animal models. Several studies have reported the beneficial effects of physical activity, both in peripheral tissues and in the central nervous system (CNS). Regular exercise improves cognition, brain plasticity, neurogenesis and reduces the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, making timeless the principle of “mens sana in corpore sano” (i.e., a healthy mind in a healthy body). Physical exercise promotes morphological and functional changes in the brain, acting not only in neurons but also in astrocytes, which represent the most numerous glial cells in the brain. The multiple effects of exercise on astrocytes comprise the increased number of new astrocytes, the maintenance of basal levels of catecholamine, the increase in glutamate uptake, the major release of trophic factors and better astrocytic coverage of cerebral blood vessels. The purpose of this review is to highlight the effects of exercise on brain function, emphasize the role of astrocytes in the healthy CNS, and provide an update for a better understanding of the effects of physical exercise in the modulation of astrocyte function. View Full-Text
Keywords: exercise; astrocytes; neuron; brain functions exercise; astrocytes; neuron; brain functions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Maugeri, G.; D’Agata, V.; Magrì, B.; Roggio, F.; Castorina, A.; Ravalli, S.; Di Rosa, M.; Musumeci, G. Neuroprotective Effects of Physical Activity via the Adaptation of Astrocytes. Cells 2021, 10, 1542.

AMA Style

Maugeri G, D’Agata V, Magrì B, Roggio F, Castorina A, Ravalli S, Di Rosa M, Musumeci G. Neuroprotective Effects of Physical Activity via the Adaptation of Astrocytes. Cells. 2021; 10(6):1542.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Maugeri, Grazia, Velia D’Agata, Benedetta Magrì, Federico Roggio, Alessandro Castorina, Silvia Ravalli, Michelino Di Rosa, and Giuseppe Musumeci. 2021. "Neuroprotective Effects of Physical Activity via the Adaptation of Astrocytes" Cells 10, no. 6: 1542.

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