High intensity exercise preconditioning provides differential protection against brain injury following experimental stroke


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Abstract

Aims:Different modes of physical activity provide cerebrovascular protection against thromboembolic events. Based on recent reports high intensity exercise protocols appear to raise cerebral VEGF levels leading to efficient cerebral angiogenesis. The present study aims to address if moderate continuous training (MCT) and high intensity interval training (HIT) differ in preconditioning against ischemic stroke.Methods:Wistar rats were subjected to HIT or MCT for 8weeks before transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) surgery. As indexes for improved angiogenic signals, VEGF-A and its pivotal receptor VEGF-R2 were immunoblotted just before occlusive stroke.Key findings:Both training protocols induced a remarkable protection against neurological deficit and tissue injury following stroke. Cerebral infarctions were better improved in HIT animals which explained the slightly but not significantly higher neurological function. HIT brains developed higher levels of cortical VEGF-A and striatal VEGF-R2.Significance:These data conclude preconditioning with high intensity protocols might excel continued moderate exercise to induce VEGF signaling and alleviate stroke outcomes. Further investigations may provide complementary mechanistic views.

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