Research Papers:

Effects of exercise on capillaries in the white matter of transgenic AD mice

Yi Zhang, Feng-Lei Chao, Chun-Ni Zhou, Lin Jiang, Lei Zhang, Lin-Mu Chen, Yan-Min Luo, Qian Xiao and Yong Tang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:65860-65875. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19505

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Yi Zhang1,2,3, Feng-Lei Chao2,3, Chun-Ni Zhou1,2,3, Lin Jiang1,2,3, Lei Zhang2,3, Lin-Mu Chen2,3, Yan-Min Luo1,2,3, Qian Xiao1,2,3 and Yong Tang2,3

1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Key Laboratory of Diagnostic Medicine, Ministry of Education, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, PR China

2Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, PR China

3Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, PR China

Correspondence to:

Yong Tang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: capillary, white matter, Alzheimer’s disease, running exercise, stereology

Received: May 04, 2017     Accepted: June 30, 2017     Published: July 22, 2017


Previous studies have shown that exercise can prevent white matter atrophy in APP/PS1 transgenic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) mice. However, the mechanism of this protective effect remains unknown. To further understand this issue, we investigated the effects of exercise on the blood supply of white matter in transgenic AD mice. Six-month-old male APP/PS1 mice were randomly divided into a control group and a running group, and age-matched non-transgenic littermates were used as a wild-type control group. Mice in the running group ran on a treadmill at low intensity for four months. Then, spatial learning and memory abilities, white matter and white matter capillaries were examined in all mice. The 10-month-old AD mice exhibited deficits in cognitive function, and 4 months of exercise improved these deficits. The white matter volume and the total length, total volume and total surface area of the white matter capillaries were decreased in the 10-month-old AD mice, and 4 months of exercise dramatically delayed the changes in these parameters in the AD mice. Our results demonstrate that even low-intensity running exercise can improve spatial learning and memory abilities, delay white matter atrophy and protect white matter capillaries in early-stage AD mice. Protecting capillaries might be an important structural basis for the exercise-induced protection of the structural integrity of white matter in AD.

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