Exercise ameliorates deficits in neural microstructure in a Disc1 model of psychiatric illness.
Barnett, Brian R Anderson, Jacqueline M Torres-Velázquez, Maribel Yi, Sue Y Rowley, Paul A Yu, John-Paul J
||Barnett BR, etal., Magn Reson Imaging. 2019 Sep;61:90-96. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2019.05.021. Epub 2019 May 16.
||(View Article at PubMed) PMID:31103832
Recent studies have investigated the effectiveness of aerobic exercise to improve physical and mental health outcomes in schizophrenia; however, few have explicitly explored the impact of aerobic exercise on neural microstructure, which is hypothesized to mediate the behavioral changes observed. Neural microstructure is influenced by numerous genetic factors including DISC1, which is a major molecular scaffold protein that interacts with partners like GSK3β, NDEL1, and PDE4. DISC1 has been shown to play a role in neurogenesis, neuronal migration, neuronal maturation, and synaptic signaling. As with other genetic variants that present an increased risk for disease, mutations of the DISC1 gene have been implicated in the molecular intersection of schizophrenia and numerous other major psychiatric illnesses. This study investigated whether short-term exercise recovers deficits in neural microstructure in a novel genetic Disc1 svΔ2 rat model. Disc1 svΔ2 animals and age- and sex-matched controls were subjected to a treadmill exercise protocol. Subsequent ex-vivo diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI) compared neural microstructure in regions of interest (ROI) between sedentary and exercise wild-type animals and between sedentary and exercise Disc1 svΔ2 animals. Short-term exercise uncovered no significant differences in neural microstructure between sedentary and exercise control animals but did lead to significant differences between sedentary and exercise Disc1 svΔ2 animals in neocortex, basal ganglia, corpus callosum, and external capsule, suggesting a positive benefit derived from a short-term exercise regimen. Our findings suggest that Disc1 svΔ2 animals are more sensitive to the effects of short-term exercise and highlight the ameliorating potential of positive treatment interventions such as exercise on neural microstructure in genetic backgrounds of psychiatric disease susceptibility.
Objects referenced in this article