It is well known that exercise prevents and reduces cognitive impairment. In the present study, we focused on exercise training as a tool to prevent cognitive impairment, and searched for novel molecules that may relate to the prevention of cognitive impairment in the hippocampus. Two-month-old senescence-accelerated mouse prone-8 (SAMP8) mice were subjected to voluntary exercise training by running on a wheel for 4 months, and were then assigned a conditioned fear memory test. Moreover, various mRNA levels in the hippocampus were examined by DNA array analysis and real-time PCR. Contextual fear memory in SAMP8 control mice was significantly impaired compared with that in non-senescence mice. Exercise training definitely attenuated such cognitive impairment. The results of real-time PCR analysis that was conducted following DNA array analysis in the hippocampus revealed that, compared with SAMR8 control mice, the expression levels of leucine zipper transcription factor-like protein 1 (Lztfl1) mRNA were significantly higher in SAMP8 mice subjected to exercise training. In addition, the overexpression of Lztfl1 promoted neurite outgrowth in Neuro 2a cells. These results suggest that exercise has a preventive effect on cognitive impairment in SAMP8 mice, and that exercise-induced increase in Lztfl1 induces neurite outgrowth.
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