Chronic physical exercise increases a neurogenesis marker within hippocampus

  • Mohammad Zulkarnain Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sriwijaya, Palembang
  • Rostika Flora Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Sriwijaya, Palembang
  • Septi Andrianti Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sriwijaya, Palembang
Keywords: acute, aerobic, anaerobic, BDNF, chronic physical exercises
Abstract viewed: 1222 times
PDF downloaded: 0 times
HTML downloaded: 0 times
EPUB downloaded: 0 times


Background:Aerobic and anaerobic physical exercises conducted in both acute and chronic are really essential in keeping the body especially brain healthy. Physical exercise plays an important role in molecular system and is beneficial for the brain by enhancing neurogenesis which is mediated by the increase of BDNF level. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of physical exercise to the BDNF level of hippocampus tissues in Wistar rats.

Methods: Thirty male rats were divided into five groups i.e. control group, acute aerobic physical exercise group, acute anaerobic physical exercise group, chronic aerobic physical exercise group, and chronic anaerobic physical exercise group. Physical exercises were conducted on animal treadmill. The level of hippocampus BDNF was determined using ELISA. The data were analyzed using independent t-test.

Results: BDNF average levels of chronic aerobic and anaerobic physical exercises were higher than those of acute ones (152.86±1.62 pg/ml and 122.22±1.53 pg/ml vs 59.38±6.10 pg/ml and 54.05±3.35 pg/ml). There were significant differences in the BDNF average levels of hippocampus tissues between aerobic and anaerobic groups, in both acute and chronic exercise.

Conclusion: The chronic physical exercises, both aerobic or anaerobic, are increasing higher the level of BDNF in brain tissue.


Download data is not yet available.


  1. Erickson KI, Voss MW, Prakash RS, Basak C, Szabo A, Chaddock L, et al. Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011;108(7):3017-22.

  2. Thomas AG, Dennis A, Bandettini PA, Johansen-Berg H. The effect of aerobic activity on brain structure. Front Psychol. 2012;86(3):1-9.

  3. Van Essen DC, Dierker DL. Surface-based and probabilistic atlases of primate cerebral cortex. Neuron. 2007;56(2):209â25.

  4. Cotman CW, Berchtold NC. Exercise: a behavioral intervention to enhance brain health and plasticity. Trends Neurosci. 2002;25(6):295â301.

  5. Bekinschtein P, Oomen CA, Saksida LM, Bussey TJ. Effect of environmental enrichment and voluntary exercise on neurogenesis, learning and memory, and pattern separation BDNF as a critical variable. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011;22(5):536-42.

  6. Mandel AL, Ozdener H, Utermohlen V. Identification of pro- and mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor in human saliva. Arch Oral Biol. 2009;54(7):689-95.

  7. Flora R, Zulkarnain M, Sorena E, Deva ID, Widowati W. Correlation between hypoxia inducible factor-1α and vesicular endothelial growth factor in male wistar rat brain tissue after anaerobic exercise. Trends Med Res. 2016;11(1): 35-41.

  8. McArdle, WD, Katch, PI, and Katch, VI. Essential of exercise physiology. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger. 2014.

  9. Suh H, Deng W, Gage FH. Signaling in adult neurogenesis. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2009;(25):253-75.

  10. Hendrickson ML, Rao AJ, Demerdash ON, Kalil RE. Expression of nestin by neural cells in the adult rat and human brain. PLoS One. 2011;6(4):e18535.

  11. Lupien SJ, Lepage M. Stress, memory, and the hippocampus: can't live with it, can't live without it. Behav Brain Res. 2001;127(1â2):137-58.

  12. Foster PP, Rosenblatt KP, Kuljiš RO. Exercise-induced cognitive plasticity, implications for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Front Neurol. 2011;28(2):1-15.

  13. Bergesren LH. Lactate transport and signaling in the brain: potential therapeutic targets and roles in body-brain interaction. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2015;35(2):176-85.

  14. Halestrap AP. The SLC16 gene family – structure, role and regulation in health and disease. Mol Aspects Med. 2013;34(2-3):337-49.

  15. Molteni R, Ying Z, Gómez-Pinilla F. Differential effects of acute and chronic exercise on plasticity-related genes in the rat hippocampus revealed by microarray. Eur J Neurosci. 2002.16(6):107-16.

  16. Piepmeier AT, Etnier JL. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as a potential mechanism of the effects of acute exercise on cognitive performance. J Sport Health Sci. 2015;4(1):14-23.

  17. Ferris LT, Williams JS, Shen CL. The effect of acute exercise on serum brain-derived neurothropic factor levels and cognitive function. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39(4):728-34.

  18. Sleiman FS, Henry J, Al-Haddad R, El Hayek L, Abou Haidar E, Stringer T, et al. Exercise promotes the expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) through the action of the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate. eLife. 2016;5:e15092.

  19. Schwartz N, Schohl A, Ruthazer ES. Neural activity regulates synaptic properties and dendritic structure in vivo through calcineurin/NFAT signaling. Neuron. 2009;62(5):655-69.

  20. Vaynman S, Ying Z, Gomez-Pinilla F. Hippocampal BDNF mediates the efficacy of exercise on synaptic plasticity and cognition. Eur J Neurosci. 2004;20(10):2580-90.

  21. Roig M, Skriver K, Lundbye-Jensen J, Kiens B, Nielsen JB. A single bout of exercise improves motor memory. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44594.

How to Cite
Zulkarnain M, Flora R, Andrianti S. Chronic physical exercise increases a neurogenesis marker within hippocampus. Med J Indones [Internet]. 2018Sep.9 [cited 2024Jun.18];27(2):76–81. Available from:
Basic Medical Research