Maternal treadmill exercise during pregnancy decreases anxiety and increases prefrontal cortex VEGF and BDNF levels of rat pups in early and late periods of life

Aksu I., Baykara B., Ozbal S., Cetin F. , Sisman A. R. , Dayi A., ...More

NEUROSCIENCE LETTERS, vol.516, no.2, pp.221-225, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 516 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.03.091
  • Title of Journal : NEUROSCIENCE LETTERS
  • Page Numbers: pp.221-225


In a previous study we demonstrated that, regular aerobic exercise during pregnancy decreased maternal deprivation induced anxiety. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the positive effects of maternal exercise on the male and female offspring's early and late period of life. Half of the test subjects in each group were evaluated when they were 26 days old, and the other half were evaluated when they were 4 months old. The anxiety levels of maternally exercised groups were less than the control groups in both sexes and in both prepubertal and adult periods. The locomotor activity more increased in females. The prefrontal VEGF and BDNF levels were greater for both age groups and sexes in the maternally exercised group compared to control group. Moreover, there was a strong positive correlations between prefrontal cortex BDNF levels and results of open field tests: and VEGF levels and results of elevated plus maze tests. There was no difference in serum corticosterone levels between groups. These results indicate that maternal exercise during pregnancy may protect the pups from anxiety in early and late periods of life, and affects the prefrontal cortex positively. (c) 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.