Effect of treadmill exercise on spatial navigation impairment associated with cerebellar Purkinje cell loss following chronic cerebral hypoperfusion
- Jae‑Min Lee
- Chang‑Ju Kim
- Jong‑Min Park
- Min Kyung Song
- Youn‑Jung Kim
Affiliations: Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea, Department of Nursing, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea, Department of Basic Nursing Science, College of Nursing Science, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea
- Published online on: April 19, 2018 https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2018.8893
Copyright: © Lee
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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In addition to roles in motor coordination, the cerebellum is also associated with cognitive function. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of treadmill exercise on spatial navigation deficit induced by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH). Furthermore, whether decreased loss of Purkinje cells, which contain the calcium‑binding protein in the posterior lobe of the cerebellum, attenuates the spatial navigation deficit induced by CCH was also investigated. Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups: Sham group, bilateral common carotid arteries occlusion (BCCAO) group and a BCCAO + exercise (Ex) group. The rats in the BCCAO + Ex group ran on a treadmill for 30 min once a day for 8 weeks, starting at 4 weeks post‑birth. CCH was induced by performing BCCAO at 12 weeks post‑birth. The Morris water maze test was performed to determine the spatial navigation function of the rats. To investigate the histological features of the cerebellum in all of the experimental groups post‑treatment, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling staining, as well as immunohistochemical analysis revealing the expression of calbindin, parvalbumin, glial fibrillary acidic protein, ionized calcium‑binding adaptor molecule 1 and caspase‑3, was performed. The results of the present study revealed that treadmill exercise improved spatial navigation, decreased the expression of reactive astrocytes and microglial cells, and decreased apoptotic rates in the cerebellar vermis post‑CCH. Treadmill exercise also attenuated the loss of Purkinje cells following CCH. The number of Purkinje cells was revealed to be negatively correlated with spatial navigation performance. These results indicate that treadmill exercise may attenuate spatial navigation impairment via inhibition of Purkinje cell loss in the posterior lobe of the cerebellum following CCH. Therefore, treadmill exercise may represent a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of patients with spatial navigation impairment following CCH.