Exercise-induced neuroprotection of the nigrostriatal dopamine system in Parkinson's disease

Lijuan Hou, Wei Chen, Xiaoli Liu, Decai Qiao, Fuming Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Epidemiological studies indicate that physical activity and exercise may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD), and clinical observations suggest that physical exercise can reduce the motor symptoms in PD patients. In experimental animals, a profound observation is that exercise of appropriate timing, duration, and intensity can reduce toxin-induced lesion of the nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) system in animal PD models, although negative results have also been reported, potentially due to inappropriate timing and intensity of the exercise regimen. Exercise may also minimize DA denervation-induced medium spiny neuron (MSN) dendritic atrophy and other abnormalities such as enlarged corticostriatal synapse and abnormal MSN excitability and spiking activity. Taken together, epidemiological studies, clinical observations, and animal research indicate that appropriately dosed physical activity and exercise may not only reduce the risk of developing PD in vulnerable populations but also benefit PD patients by potentially protecting the residual DA neurons or directly restoring the dysfunctional cortico-basal ganglia motor control circuit, and these benefits may be mediated by exercise-triggered production of endogenous neuroprotective molecules such as neurotrophic factors. Thus, exercise is a universally available, side effect-free medicine that should be prescribed to vulnerable populations as a preventive measure and to PD patients as a component of treatment. Future research needs to establish standardized exercise protocols that can reliably induce DA neuron protection, enabling the delineation of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms that in turn can maximize exercise-induced neuroprotection and neurorestoration in animal PD models and eventually in PD patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number358
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Volume9
Issue numberNOV
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 3 2017

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Parkinson Disease
Dopamine
Exercise
Animal Disease Models
Dopaminergic Neurons
Vulnerable Populations
Neuroprotection
Epidemiologic Studies
Neurons
Nerve Growth Factors
Denervation
Basal Ganglia
Synapses
Atrophy
Observation
Medicine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Exercise-induced neuroprotection of the nigrostriatal dopamine system in Parkinson's disease. / Hou, Lijuan; Chen, Wei; Liu, Xiaoli; Qiao, Decai; Zhou, Fuming.

In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Vol. 9, No. NOV, 358, 03.11.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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