Long-term exercise pre-training attenuates Alzheimer’s disease–related pathology in a transgenic rat model of Alzheimer’s disease

Luodan Yang, Chongyun Wu, Yong Li, Yan Dong, Celeste Yin Chieh Wu, Reggie Hui Chao Lee, Darrell W. Brann, Hung Wen Lin, Quanguang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. Despite enormous efforts around the world, there remains no effective cure for AD. This study was performed to investigate the effects of long-term exercise pretreatment on the typical pathology of AD in a novel transgenic AD rat model. Male 2-month-old animals were divided into the following groups: wild-type (WT) rats, AD rats, and AD rats with treadmill exercise pretreatment (AD-Exe). After exercise pretreatment, the Barnes maze task, passive avoidance task, and cued fear conditioning test were performed to test learning and memory function. The elevated plus maze, open field test, sucrose preference test, and forced swim test were conducted to measure anxious-depressive–like behavior. Immunofluorescence staining, Golgi staining, transmission electron microscopy, Western blot analysis, F-Jade C staining, TUNEL staining, and related assay kits were conducted to measure Aβ plaques, tau hyperphosphorylation, neuronal damage, neuronal degeneration, dendritic spine density, synapses, synaptic vesicles, mitochondrial morphology, mitochondrial dynamic, oxidative stress, and neuroinflammation. Behavioral tests revealed that long-term exercise pretreatment significantly alleviated learning and memory dysfunction and anxious-depressive–like behaviors in AD animals. In addition, exercise pretreatment attenuated amyloid-β deposition and tau hyperphosphorylation and preserved spine density, synapses, and presynaptic vesicles. Exercise also inhibited neuronal damage, neuronal apoptosis, and neuronal degeneration. Additional studies revealed the imbalance of mitochondrial dynamics was significantly inhibited by exercise pretreatment accompanied by a remarkable suppression of oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. Our findings suggest that long-term exercise pretreatment alleviated behavioral deficits and typical pathologies of the AD rat model, supporting long-term exercise pretreatment as a potential approach to delay the progression of AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1457-1477
Number of pages21
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyloid-β deposition
  • Memory
  • Mitochondrial dynamics
  • TgF344-AD rats
  • Treadmill exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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