Exercise with 40-Hz light flicker improves hippocampal insulin signaling in Alzheimer disease mice

J Exerc Rehabil. 2022 Feb 24;18(1):20-27. doi: 10.12965/jer.2244042.021. eCollection 2022 Feb.


We examined whether exercise is associated with hippocampus-mediated improvement in insulin signaling and cell differentiation in the triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer disease (3xTg AD) murine model following exposure to 40-Hz light flickering and exercise. We subjected 12-month-old 3xTg AD mice to exercise and 40-Hz light flickering for 3 months. The exercise session was proceeded for 12 consecutive weeks with gradual increase of intensity. To investigate insulin signaling proteins, western blot was conducted to detect the ratio of phosphorylated insulin receptor β (p-IRβ)/total IRβ (t-IRβ), phosphorylated insulin receptor substrate 1 (p-IRS-1)/total IRS-1 (t-IRS-1), phosphorylated phosphatidylinositide-3-kinase (p-PI3K)/total PI3K (t-PI3K), phosphorylated 3-phosphoinositide dependent protein kinase-1 (p-PDK1)/total PDK-1 (t-PDK1), phosphorylated protein kinase B (p-Akt)/total-Akt (t-Akt), and phosphorylated glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (p-GSK3β)/total GSK3β (t-GSK3β). Doublecortin immunohistochemistry was performed for assessing cell differentiation in the hippocampus. Treatments exerted a positive effect. The combination of exercise and 40-Hz light flickering exposure was the most effective treatment enhancing insulin signaling. Increased ratio of p-IRβ/t-IRβ, p-IRS-1/t-IRS-1, p-PI3K/t-PI3K, p-PDK1/t-PDK1, p-Akt/t-Akt, and p-GSK3β/t-GSK3β and enhanced cell differentiation were observed in the 3xTg AD with exercise under 40-Hz light flickering group. Our results indicate that exercise under 40-Hz light flickering most potently improved insulin signaling, thereby promoted cell differentiation.

Keywords: 40-Hz light flicker; Alzheimer disease; Cell differentiation; Exercise; Hippocampus; Insulin signaling.