Article

Running increases cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the adult mouse dentate gyrus

  • Nature Neuroscience volume 2, pages 266270 (1999)
  • doi:10.1038/6368
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Abstract

Exposure to an enriched environment increases neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of adult rodents. Environmental enrichment, however, typically consists of many components, such as expanded learning opportunities, increased social interaction, more physical activity and larger housing. We attempted to separate components by assigning adult mice to various conditions: water-maze learning (learner), swim-time-yoked control (swimmer), voluntary wheel running (runner), and enriched (enriched) and standard housing (control) groups. Neither maze training nor yoked swimming had any effect on bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)-positive cell number. However, running doubled the number of surviving newborn cells, in amounts similar to enrichment conditions. Our findings demonstrate that voluntary exercise is sufficient for enhanced neurogenesis in the adult mouse dentate gyrus.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Eugene Brandon, Mary Lynn Gage, Uwe Konietzko, Marie-Claude Senut and Xinyu Zhao for comments on the manuscript, and Linda Kitabayashi for assisitance with photography and confocal imaging. We also thank Alice Smith, Tony Slimp and coworkers in the Salk Institute Animal Research Facility for their support of this study. This work was funded by NIA, NINDS, Pasarow Foundation, Hollfelder Foundation and APA.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA

    • Henriette van Praag
    • , Gerd Kempermann
    •  & Fred H. Gage
  2. Department of Neurology, University of Regensburg, Universitätsstr. 84, D-93053 Regensburg, Germany

    • Gerd Kempermann

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Correspondence to Fred H. Gage.