Physical exercise protects against mitochondria alterations in the 6-hidroxydopamine rat model of Parkinson’s disease.

Publication date: Mar 18, 2020

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is typicaly caractherized by loss of dopaminergic neurons, as well as the presence of mitochondrial impairments. Although physical exercise is known to promote many beneficial effects in healthy subjects, such as enhancing mitocondrial biogenesis and function, it is not clear if these effects are evident after exercise in individuals with PD. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of two different protocol durations on motor behavior (aphomorphine and gait tests), mitochondrial biogenesis signaling (PGC-1?, NRF-1, and TFAM), structure (oxidative phosphorylation system protein levels), and respiratory chain activity (complex I) in a unilateral PD rat model. For this, male Wistar rats were injected with 6-hydroxydopamine unilaterally into the striatum, and submitted to an intermitent moderate treadmill exercise for one or four weeks. In the gait test, only stride width data revealed an improvement after one week of exercise. On the other hand, after 4 weeks of the exercise protocol all gait parameters analyzed and the aphomorphine test demonstrated a recovery. Analysis of protein revealed that one week of exercise was able to prevent PGC-1? and NRF-1 expression decrease in PD animals. In addition, after four weeks of physical exercise, besides PGC-1? and NRF-1, reduction in TFAM and complex I protein levels and increased complex I activity, were also prevented in PD animals. Thus, our results suggest a neuroprotective and progressive effect of intermittent treadmill exercise, which could be related to its benefits on mitochondrial biogenesis signaling and respiratory chain modulation of the dopaminergic system in PD.

Fernandes Ferreira, A.F., Binda, K.H., Singulani, M.P., Pereira, C.P.M., Ferrari, G.D., Alberici, L.C., Real, C.C., and Britto, L.R. Physical exercise protects against mitochondria alterations in the 6-hidroxydopamine rat model of Parkinson’s disease. 24440. 2020 Behav Brain Res.

Concepts Keywords
Biogenesis Branches of biology
Dopaminergic Cell biology
Gait Mitochondrial biogenesis
Mitochondria Exercise
Mitochondrial Parkinson’s disease
Modulation PGC
Neurons Mitochondrion
Neuroprotective Treadmill
Oxidative Phosphorylation
Physical Exercise
Respiratory Chain


Type Source Name
disease MESH gait
pathway KEGG Oxidative phosphorylation


Original Article

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