Int Neurourol J.  2020 May;24(Suppl 1):S28-38. 10.5213/inj.2040158.079.

Treadmill Exercise Improves Motor Function and Short-term Memory by Enhancing Synaptic Plasticity and Neurogenesis in Photothrombotic Stroke Mice

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Myongji Hospital, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Goyang, Korea
  • 2Department of Cardiovascular Neurologic Disease (Stroke Center), College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
  • 4School of Global Sport Studies, Korea University, Sejong, Korea
  • 5Metabolomics Laboratory, College of Pharmacy, Korea University, Sejong, Korea
  • 6Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Sciences, Kyungnam University, Changwon, Korea


Thrombotic stroke is a type of ischemic stroke characterized by motor dysfunction and memory impairments. In the present study, the effect of treadmill exercise on motor function and short-term memory was evaluated in relation with synaptic plasticity in the mice with photothrombotic stroke.
Photothrombotic stroke was induced by cortical photothrombotic vascular occlusion. The mice in the treadmill exercise groups performed running on a motorized treadmill for 28 days. Motor function was determined using rota-rod test and foot fault test. Step-through avoidance task was conducted to evaluate short-term memory. Immunohistochemistry for 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine and doublecortin was conducted to detect new cell generation. Postsynaptic density protein 95, synaptophysin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and tyrosine kinase B receptor (TrkB) were determined using western blot. The number of dendritic spines was determined using Golgi stain.
Treadmill exercise improved motor function and short-term memory in mice with the photothrombotic stroke. The infarct size was reduced and the number of dendritic spines and expression of postsynaptic density protein 95 and synaptophysin in the peri-infarct cortex and hippocampus were increased by treadmill exercise in photothrombotic stroke mice. Treadmill exercise enhanced neurogenesis through increasing the expression of the hippocampal BDNF and TrkB in photothrombotic stroke mice.
Treadmill exercise improved motor function and short-term memory through increasing synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis in photothrombotic stroke mice. Treadmill exercise can be used as an effective treatment strategy to improve brain function related to stroke.


Photothrombotic stroke; Exercise; Short-term memory; Synaptic plasticity
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