Int J Sports Med 2020; 41(13): 951-961
DOI: 10.1055/a-1195-2737
Training & Testing

Exercise-induced Nitric Oxide Contributes to Spatial Memory and Hippocampal Capillaries in Rats

Yingqiang Qi
1  Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2  Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
,
Sanrong Wang
3  Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Physical Therapy, Chongqing Medical University Affiliated Second Hospital, Chongqing, China
,
Yanmin Luo
4  Department of Physiology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
,
Wei Huang
1  Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2  Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
,
Linmu Chen
5  Department of Histology and Embryology, Shenzhen Children’s Hospital, Shenzhen, China
,
Yi Zhang
1  Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2  Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
,
Xin Liang
1  Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2  Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
,
Jing Tang
1  Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2  Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
,
Yang Zhang
1  Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2  Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
,
Lei Zhang
1  Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2  Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
,
Fenglei Chao
1  Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2  Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
,
Yuan Gao
6  Department of Geriatrics, Chongqing Medical University First Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing, China
,
Yanqing Zhu
1  Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2  Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
,
Yong Tang
1  Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2  Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
› Author Affiliations
Funding This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81871073 and 81671259)

Abstract

Exercise has been argued to improve cognitive function in both humans and rodents. Angiogenesis significantly contributes to brain health, including cognition. The hippocampus is a crucial brain region for cognitive function. However, studies quantifying the capillary changes in the hippocampus after running exercise are lacking. Moreover, the molecular details underlying the effects of running exercise remain poorly understood. We show that endogenous nitric oxide contributes to the beneficial effects of running exercise on cognition and hippocampal capillaries. Four weeks of running exercise significantly improved spatial memory ability and increased the number of capillaries in the cornu ammonis 1 subfield and dentate gyrus of Sprague-Dawley rats. Running exercise also significantly increased nitric oxide synthase activity and nitric oxide content in the rat hippocampus. After blocking the synthesis of endogenous nitric oxide by lateral ventricular injection of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, a nonspecific nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, the protective effect of running exercise on spatial memory was eliminated. The protective effect of running exercise on angiogenesis in the cornu ammonis 1 subfield and dentate gyrus of rats was also absent after nitric oxide synthase inhibition. Therefore, during running excise, endogenous nitric oxide may contribute to regulating spatial memory ability and angiogenesis in cornu ammonis 1 subfield and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus.



Publication History

Received: 19 December 2019

Accepted: 18 May 2020

Publication Date:
08 July 2020 (online)

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