Cortical and hippocampal expression of inflammatory and intracellular signaling proteins in aged rats submitted to aerobic and resistance physical training

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Abstract

Aging is often accompanied by an increase in pro-inflammatory markers. This inflammatory process is directly related to cellular dysfunctions that induce events such as the exacerbated activation of cell death signaling pathways. In the aged brain, dysregulation of the normal activities of neuronal cells compromises brain functions, thereby favoring the onset of neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive deficits. Interactions between various stimuli, such as stress, are responsible for the modulation of cellular processes and activities. Physical exercise is a controllable model of stress, largely used as a strategy for studying the physiological mechanisms of inflammatory responses and their consequences. However, different types of physical exercise promote different responses in the organism. The present study was designed to investigate the expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and expression and activation of intracellular signaling proteins (CREB, ERK, Akt, p70S6k, STAT5, JNK, NFkB e p38) in the cerebral cortex and hippocampal formation of aged rats submitted to aerobic and resistance exercise. Inflammatory analysis showed that aged rats that underwent resistance training had decreased cortical levels of RANTES and a reduction in the hippocampal levels of MIP-2 when compared with control animals (sedentary). No significant difference was detected in the cortical and hippocampal inflammatory response between aerobic and sedentary groups. However, when comparing the two training models (aerobic vs resistance), it was observed that aerobic training increased the cortical levels of IL-13, IL-6, IL-17α compared with resistance training. Regarding the signaling proteins, a significant increase in cortical expression of the proteins JNK, ERK and p70S6k was found in the aerobic group in relation to the sedentary group. No significant change in the cortical and hippocampal expression of signaling proteins was detected between resistance training and sedentary groups. Nevertheless, when training models were compared, it was observed that aerobic training increased cortical expression of the total proteins p38, ERK, Akt and p70S6k in relation to resistance training. Taken together, these results show that changes in the brain expression of inflammatory and cell survival proteins in aged rats depend on the type of physical training.

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