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Int Neurourol J. 2016 May;20(Suppl 1):S57-S64. English. Original Article.
Lee SJ , Kim TW , Park HK , Yoon S , You AH , Moon EJ , Shin DH , Cho H .
Department of Physical Education, College of Health, Welfare, and Education, Tong Myong University, Busan, Korea.
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Medicine, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Food and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Ansan, Korea.

PURPOSE: Stress during pregnancy is a risk factor for the development of anxiety-related disorders in offspring later in life. The effects of treadmill exercise on anxiety-like behaviors and hippocampal cell proliferation were investigated using rats exposed to prenatal stress. METHODS: Exposure of pregnant rats to a hunting dog in an enclosed room was used to induce stress. Anxiety-like behaviors of offspring were evaluated using the elevated plus maze test. Immunohistochemistry for the detection of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine and doublecortin (DCX) in the hippocampal dentate gyrus and 5-hydroxytryptamine 1A receptors (5-HT(1A)) in the dorsal raphe was conducted. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) levels in the hippocampus were evaluated by western blot analysis. RESULTS: Offspring of maternal rats exposed to stress during pregnancy showed anxiety-like behaviors. Offspring also showed reduced expression of BDNF, TrkB, and DCX in the dentate gyrus, decreased cell proliferation in the hippocampus, and reduced 5-HT(1A) expression in the dorsal raphe. Postnatal treadmill exercise by offspring, but not maternal exercise during pregnancy, enhanced cell proliferation and expression of these proteins. CONCLUSIONS: Postnatal treadmill exercise ameliorated anxiety-like behaviors in offspring of stressed pregnant rats, and the alleviating effect of exercise on these behaviors is hypothesized to result from enhancement of cell proliferation through 5-HT(1A) activation in offspring rats.

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