Effects of early exercise intervention and exercise cessation on neuronal loss and neuroinflammation in a senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8

Neurosci Lett. 2023 Jun 21:808:137297. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2023.137297. Epub 2023 May 12.


Physical exercise is beneficial for preventing Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cognitive decline through several mechanisms, including suppression of neuroinflammation and neuronal loss in the hippocampus. Despite these exercise-induced benefits in AD pathology, less attention has been paid to the importance of maintaining exercise and the consequences of detraining. This study aimed to investigate the effects of early exercise intervention and detraining on age-related cognitive decline and its protective mechanisms using senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8). These mice were divided to four groups: no-exercise (No-Ex, n = 9), 4 months (4 M)-detraining (n = 11), 2 months (2 M)-detraining (n = 11), and long-term exercise (LT-Ex, n = 13). Age-related cognitive decline was prevented in the LT-Ex group compared with the No-Ex group through the suppression of neuronal loss, enhanced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and inhibition of neuroinflammation corresponding to reduced M1 and increased M2 microglia in the hippocampus. No significant differences were observed in cognitive function between the detraining and No-Ex groups. However, the 2 M-detraining group showed increased BDNF positive area in the CA1 region and the enhancement of anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype microglia. In contrast, no statistically beneficial exercise-induced changes in the hippocampus were observed in the 4 M-detrainig group. These results showed that early exercise intervention prevented age-related cognitive deficits in AD progression by suppressing neuronal loss and neuroinflammation in the hippocampus. Exercise-induced benefits, including the anti-inflammation in the hippocampus, may be retained after exercise cessation, even if exercise-induced beneficial effects decline in a time-dependent manner.

Keywords: Cognitive function; Detraining; M1 and M2 microglia; Neuroinflammation; Prevention; SAMP8.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Animals
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / pathology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / prevention & control
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Hippocampus
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neuroinflammatory Diseases


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor