Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Serotonin mediates exercise-induced generation of new neurons

Date:
May 13, 2013
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Mice that exercise in running wheels exhibit increased neurogenesis in the brain. Crucial to this process is serotonin signaling. Surprisingly, mice lacking brain serotonin due to a genetic mutation exhibited normal baseline neurogenesis. However, in these serotonin-deficient mice, activity-induced proliferation was impaired, and wheel running did not induce increased generation of new neurons.

Wheel-running mouse.
Credit: Photo: Friederike Klempin and Daniel Beis/ Copyright: MDC

Mice that exercise in running wheels exhibit increased neurogenesis in the brain. Crucial to this process is serotonin signaling. These are the findings of a study by Dr. Friederike Klempin, Daniel Beis and Dr. Natalia Alenina from the research group led by Professor Michael Bader at the Max Delbrόck Center (MDC) Berlin-Buch. Surprisingly, mice lacking brain serotonin due to a genetic mutation exhibited normal baseline neurogenesis. However, in these serotonin-deficient mice, activity-induced proliferation was impaired, and wheel running did not induce increased generation of new neurons.

Scientists have known for some time that exercise induces neurogenesis in a specific brain region, the hippocampus. However, until this study, the underlying mechanism was not fully understood. The hippocampus plays an important role in learning and in memory and is one of the brain regions where new neurons are generated throughout life.

Serotonin facilitates precursor cell maturation

The researchers demonstrated that mice with the ability to produce serotonin are likely to release more of this hormone during exercise, which in turn increases cell proliferation of precursor cells in the hippocampus. Furthermore, serotonin seems to facilitate the transition of stem to progenitor cells that become neurons in the adult mouse brain.

For Dr. Klempin and Dr. Alenina it was surprising that normal baseline neurogenesis occurs in mice that, due to a genetic mutation, cannot produce serotonin in the brain. However, they noted that some of the stem cells in serotonin-deficient mice either die or fail to become neurons.

Yet, these animals seem to have a mechanism that allows compensation for the deficit, in that progenitor cells, an intermediate stage in the development from a stem cell to a neuron, divide more frequently. According to the researchers, this is to maintain the pool of these cells.

However, the group of wheel-running mice that do not produce serotonin did not exhibit an exercise-induced increase in neurogenesis. The compensatory mechanism failed following running. The researchers concluded: "Serotonin is not necessarily required for baseline generation of new neurons in the adult brain, but is essential for exercise-induced hippocampal neurogenesis."

Hope for new approaches to treat depression and memory loss in the elderly

Deficiency in serotonin, popularly known as the "molecule of happiness," has been considered in the context of theories linking major depression to declining neurogenesis in the adult brain. "Our findings could potentially help to develop new approaches to prevent and treat depression as well as age-related decline in learning and memory," said Dr. Klempin and Dr. Alenina.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. F. Klempin, D. Beis, V. Mosienko, G. Kempermann, M. Bader, N. Alenina. Serotonin Is Required for Exercise-Induced Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013; 33 (19): 8270 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5855-12.2013

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Serotonin mediates exercise-induced generation of new neurons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130513110926.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2013, May 13). Serotonin mediates exercise-induced generation of new neurons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130513110926.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Serotonin mediates exercise-induced generation of new neurons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130513110926.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins