Voluntary wheel running reverses the decrease in subventricular zone neurogenesis caused by corticosterone

Jada Chia Di Lee, Suk Yu Yau, Tatia M.C. Lee, Wui Man Lau, Kwok Fai So

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


� 2016 Cognizant, LLC. Adult neurogenesis within the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus can be increased by voluntary exercise but is suppressed under stress, such as with corticosterone (CORT). However, the effects of exercise and CORT on the cell proliferation of the other traditional neurogenic site, the subventricular zone (SVZ), have been reported with controversial results. In addition, the cotreatment effects of voluntary exercise and CORT have not been investigated. This study aims to determine whether CORT can suppress cell proliferation in the SVZ and whether this can be reversed by voluntary exercise. In the present study, the effect of chronic (4 weeks) CORT treatment and wheel running simultaneously on the SVZ cell proliferation of adult Sprague–Dawley rats was examined. The results showed that cell proliferation indicated by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) was increased by voluntary wheel running, whereas it was decreased by CORT treatment within the SVZ of the rats without running. For the rats with both CORT treatment and wheel running, it was found that the number of BrdU-labeled cells was approximately at the same level as the vehicle control group. Furthermore, these proliferating cells expressed doublecortin (DCX), a migrating neuroblast marker. Wheel running increased the percentage of BrdU-labeled cells expressing DCX in the SVZ, whereas CORT treatment decreased this percentage. Thus, chronic injection of CORT can decrease the number of proliferating cells, while wheel running can reverse the decrease in cell proliferation within the SVZ to normal levels. In addition, CORT can suppress the cell differentiation within the SVZ, and this was alleviated by wheel running as indicated by the double labeling of BrdU and DCX.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1979-1986
Number of pages8
JournalCell Transplantation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Corticosterone (CORT)
  • Subventricular zone (SVZ)
  • Voluntary exercise
  • Wheel running

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation


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