A diphenyl diselenide-supplemented diet and swimming exercise promote neuroprotection, reduced cell apoptosis and glial cell activation in the hypothalamus of old rats

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Aging is a process characterized by deterioration of the homeostasis of various physiological systems; although being a process under influence of multiple factors, the mechanisms involved in aging are not well understood. Here we investigated the effect of a (PhSe)2-supplemented diet (1 ppm, 4 weeks) and swimming exercise (1% of body weight, 20 min per day, 4 weeks) on proteins related to glial cells activation, apoptosis and neuroprotection in the hypothalamus of old male Wistar rats (27 month-old). Old rats had activation of astrocytes and microglia which was demonstrated by the increase in the levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba-1) in hypothalamus. A decrease of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and procaspase-3 levels as well as an increase of the cleaved PARP/full length PARP ratio (poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, PARP) and the pJNK/JNK ratio (c-Jun N-terminal kinase, JNK) were observed. The levels of mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (mBDNF), the pAkt/Akt ratio (also known as protein kinase B) and NeuN (neuronal nuclei), a neuron marker, were decreased in the hypothalamus of old rats. Old rats that received a (PhSe)2-supplemented diet and performed swimming exercise had the hypothalamic levels of Iba-1 and GFAP decreased. The combined treatment also increased the levels of Bcl-2 and procaspase-3 and decreased the ratios of cleaved PARP/full length PARP and pJNK/JNK in old rats. The levels of mBDNF and NeuN, but not the pAkt/Akt ratio, were increased by combined treatment. In conclusion, a (PhSe)2-supplemented diet and swimming exercise promoted neuroprotection in the hypothalamus of old rats, reducing apoptosis and glial cell activation.

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