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Neurochemical and behavioural indices of exercise reward are independent of exercise controllability.

Herrera, Jonathan J; Fedynska, Sofiya; Ghasem, Parsa R; Wieman, Tyler; Clark, Peter J; Gray, Nathan; Loetz, Esteban; Campeau, Serge; Fleshner, Monika; Greenwood, Benjamin N.
Eur J Neurosci; 43(9): 1190-202, 2016 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26833814
Brain reward circuits are implicated in stress-related psychiatric disorders. Exercise reduces the incidence of stress-related disorders, but the contribution of exercise reward to stress resistance is unknown. Exercise-induced stress resistance is independent of exercise controllability; both voluntary running (VR) and forced running (FR) protect rats against the anxiety-like and depression-like behavioural consequences of stress. Voluntary exercise is a natural reward, but whether rats find FR rewarding is unknown. Moreover, the contribution of dopamine (DA) and striatal reward circuits to exercise reward is not well characterized. Adult, male rats were assigned to locked wheels, VR, or FR groups. FR rats were forced to run in a pattern resembling the natural wheel running behavior of rats. Both VR and FR increased the reward-related plasticity marker ΔFosB in the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens, and increased the activity of DA neurons in the lateral ventral tegmental area, as revealed by immunohistochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase and pCREB. Both VR and FR rats developed conditioned place preference (CPP) to the side of a CPP chamber paired with exercise. Re-exposure to the exercise-paired side of the CPP chamber elicited conditioned increases in cfos mRNA in direct-pathway (dynorphin-positive) neurons in the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens in both VR and FR rats, and in tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons in the lateral ventral tegmental area of VR rats only. The results suggest that the rewarding effects of exercise are independent of exercise controllability and provide insight into the DA and striatal circuitries involved in exercise reward and exercise-induced stress resistance.
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