Memory improved by protein released in response to running

In a mouse study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, investigators found running increased levels of a protein called cathepsin B, which spurred brain cell growth, improving the memory recall of mice following a location task.

Encoded by the CTSB gene, cathepsin B is perhaps most well known for its role in cancer progression; the protein is secreted by tumors and is believed to fuel cancer metastasis.

Other studies have suggested cathepsin B plays a role in the clearance of beta-amyloid plaques, which are known to contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Senior author of this latest research, Henriette van Praag, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) - part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) - and colleagues say their study is the first to link cathepsin B with spatial learning.

Cathepsin B levels increased in response to exercise

The researchers decided to focus on the role of cathepsin B in response to exercise after screening a number of proteins likely to be secreted by muscle tissue and transported to the brain.

In a lab dish, the team exposed muscle cells to various exercise-mimicking compounds and found that cathepsin B was the most secreted protein.

The researchers also identified high levels of cathepsin B in the blood and muscle cells of mice that had been running on an exercise wheel every day for several weeks.

What is more, on applying the protein to brain cells, the team found that it triggered the production of molecules that play a role in brain cell development and growth - a process known as neurogenesis.

With these findings in mind, van Praag and colleagues set out to investigate how cathepsin B might impact memory recall in response to physical activity.

Memory boosted by cathepsin B after running

To reach their findings, the team used two groups of mice: one group was unable to produce cathepsin B in response to both exercise and sedentary behavior, while the other group had normal production of the protein.

Every day for 1 week, both groups of mice engaged in a Morris water maze test, which required them to identify the location of a platform within a small pool. 


Autor / Fonte:medicalnewstoday