Document Detail

Long-term voluntary wheel running is rewarding and produces plasticity in the mesolimbic reward pathway.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21070820     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The mesolimbic reward pathway is implicated in stress-related psychiatric disorders and is a potential target of plasticity underlying the stress resistance produced by repeated voluntary exercise. It is unknown, however, whether rats find long-term access to running wheels rewarding, or if repeated voluntary exercise reward produces plastic changes in mesolimbic reward neurocircuitry. In the current studies, young adult, male Fischer 344 rats allowed voluntary access to running wheels for 6 weeks, but not 2 weeks, found wheel running rewarding, as measured by conditioned place preference (CPP). Consistent with prior reports and the behavioral data, 6 weeks of wheel running increased ΔFosB/FosB immunoreactivity in the nucleus accumbens (Acb). In addition, semi quantitative in situ hybridization revealed that 6 weeks of wheel running, compared to sedentary housing, increased tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA levels in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), increased delta opioid receptor (DOR) mRNA levels in the Acb shell, and reduced levels of dopamine receptor (DR)-D2 mRNA in the Acb core. Results indicate that repeated voluntary exercise is rewarding and alters gene transcription in mesolimbic reward neurocircuitry. The duration-dependent effects of wheel running on CPP suggest that as the weeks of wheel running progress, the rewarding effects of a night of voluntary wheel running might linger longer into the inactive cycle thus providing stronger support for CPP. The observed plasticity could contribute to the mechanisms by which exercise reduces the incidence and severity of substance abuse disorders, changes the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse, and facilitates successful coping with stress.
Benjamin N Greenwood; Teresa E Foley; Tony V Le; Paul V Strong; Alice B Loughridge; Heidi E W Day; Monika Fleshner
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2010-11-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioural brain research     Volume:  217     ISSN:  1872-7549     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Brain Res.     Publication Date:  2011 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-27     Completed Date:  2011-04-18     Revised Date:  2014-03-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8004872     Medline TA:  Behav Brain Res     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  354-62     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Conditioning, Operant / physiology*
Extinction, Psychological
Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
Limbic System / cytology*,  physiology*
Nerve Net / metabolism
Neural Pathways / physiology
Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / genetics,  metabolism
RNA, Messenger / metabolism
Rats, Inbred F344
Receptors, Dopamine D2 / genetics,  metabolism
Receptors, Opioid, delta / genetics,  metabolism
Running / physiology*
Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / genetics,  metabolism
Grant Support
R01 MH 068283/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH068283/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH068283-07/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R03 MH086665-02/MH/NIMH NIH HHS
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos; 0/RNA, Messenger; 0/Receptors, Dopamine D2; 0/Receptors, Opioid, delta; EC 3-Monooxygenase

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