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    Running wheel exercise training (RWE) and skilled reaching training (SRT) are physical training approaches with positive effects on cognitive function. However, few studies have compared the different effects of these exercises on long-term memory, and their mechanism remains unknown. This study investigated the effects of SRT and RWE, at the recovery stage, on the cognitive function of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) rats and explored their association with NgR1/Rho-A/ROCK/LOTUS/LGI1 signaling. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 55) were divided into four groups after pretraining: SRT, RWE, tMCAO, and Sham. Rats were subjected to modified neurological severity score (mNSS) measurements and forelimb grip strength and the Morris water maze tests. Using immunofluorescence and western blotting, we evaluated axonal growth inhibitor expression in the peri-infarct cortex on days 28 and 56 after tMCAO. Results showed the mNSS reduced, whereas the grip strengths improved in RWE and SRT groups. The escape latency in the Morris water maze test was shorter, whereas the number of times of crossing the platform was higher in both the SRT and RWE groups than in the tMCAO group on day 56; furthermore, the parameters in the SRT group improved compared to those in the RWE group. Physical exercise training could improve cognitive functions by reducing the expression of the NgR1/RhoA/ROCK axon growth inhibitors and increasing the expression of the endogenous antagonists LOTUS/LGI1. Exercise training beginning at the recovery stage could improve the cognitive function in tMCAO rats through a mechanism probably associated with the axonal growth inhibitor pathway. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.


    Chao Li, Ruifang Sun, Jiemei Chen, Jiena Hong, Ju Sun, Yan Zeng, Xue Zhang, Zulin Dou, Hongmei Wen. Different training patterns at recovery stage improve cognitive function in ischemic stroke rats through regulation of the axonal growth inhibitor pathway. Behavioural brain research. 2022 Mar 12;421:113730

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    PMID: 34971645

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