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Voluntary exercise and clomipramine treatment elevate prepro-galanin mRNA levels in the locus coeruleus in rats.

Author(s): Holmes PV, Yoo HS, Dishman RK

Affiliation(s): Neuroscience and Behavior Program, Psychology Department, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA. pvholmes@uga.edu

Publication date & source: 2006-11-06, Neurosci Lett., 408(1):1-4. Epub 2006 Sep 22.

Exercise exerts antidepressant effects in humans and rodent models of affective disorders. These effects may be mediated by the upregulation of endogenous factors that exert antidepressant actions. The physiological functions and behavioral actions of the neuropeptide galanin (GAL) suggest antidepressant activity. Previous studies have shown that various modes of exercise elevate GAL gene expression in the locus coeruleus (LC) in rats. The present experiments examined the interaction between voluntary exercise and antidepressant pharmacotherapy. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were provided access to activity wheels (exercise condition) or inoperative wheels (sedentary condition) for 28 days. Rats in each group were injected with clomipramine (10mg/kg/day) or vehicle throughout this period (for 3 weeks). Prepro-GAL mRNA in the LC was measured by in situ hybridization histochemistry. Exercise and clomipramine treatment significantly elevated GAL gene expression, though prepro-GAL mRNA levels in rats receiving both interventions did not differ from sedentary controls that received vehicle. Prepro-GAL mRNA levels were significantly correlated with running distance. The results further implicate a role for GAL in the antidepressant effects of exercise and pharmacotherapy, though the mechanisms through which these treatments influence GAL gene expression appear to differ significantly.

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