Effects of exercise following lateral fluid percussion brain injury in rats

Ramona R. Hicks, Arden Boggs, Denise Leider, Philip Kraemer, Russell Brown, Stephen W. Scheff, Kim B. Seroogy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Previous studies have suggested that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is involved in memory and learning, and may be neuroprotective following various brain insults. Exercise has been found to increase BDNF mRNA levels in various brain regions, including specific subpopulations of hippocampal neurons. In the present study, we were interested in whether following traumatic brain injury, exercise could increase BDNF mRNA expression, attenuate neuropathology, and improve cognitive and neuromotor performance. We subjected adult male Sprague-Dawley rats to a fluid percussion brain injury, followed by either 18 days of treadmill exercise or handling. Spatial memory was evaluated in a Morris Water Maze (MWM) and motor function was evaluated with a battery of neuromotor tests. Neuropathology was evaluated by measuring the cortical lesion volume and the extent of neuronal loss in the hippocampus. Expression of BDNF mRNA in the hippocampus was assessed with in situ hybridization and densitometry. Hybridization signal for BDNF mRNA was significantly increased bilaterally in the exercise group in hippocampal regions CA1 and CA3 (p < 0.05), but not in the granule cell layer of the dentate gyms. No significant differences were observed between the groups in neuropathology, spatial memory, or motor performance. This study suggests that after traumatic brain injury, exercise elevates BDNF mRNA in specific regions of the hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1998


  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Cognition
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of exercise following lateral fluid percussion brain injury in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this