Investigation into hippocampal-dependent memory: the effects of exercise and nutrition

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Anthony J. Bocchine (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jennifer Etnier

Abstract: The purpose of this research study was to evaluate the combined effect of chronic exercise training and nutrition on a hippocampal-dependent cognitive task in rodents. Male adult Sprague-Dawley rats (n=48) were randomly assigned to a 5- or 6-week forced exercise protocol (trained) or to a sedentary control condition (untrained). The exercise (during last hour of light cycle) duration and intensity were increased over a 4-wk period up to 60 min at 30 m/min and a 6° grade. The weekly exercise consisted of 5 days of exercise followed by 2 days of rest. Rats were on a regular feeding schedule consisting of a 30 min meal (20% daily calories) provided 60 min into the dark period and ad libidum access to chow the last 5 hrs of the dark cycle throughout (remainder of daily calories). During the last week of exercise, rats’ memory was assessed 60 min after a low (15% casein) or high (50% casein) protein meal in a Barnes maze (a task requiring that rodents detect an escape hatch in a fixed location) on 4 consecutive days. BCA biochemical assays were conducted in order to determine protein concentrations from hippocampal brain samples. The BCA assays produced a standard curve that can be used to determine the protein content of the hippocampal samples and a protocol that can be used to homogenize these samples for a more specific assay. Results for path latency in the Barnes maze indicated a main effect for days (p<0.05), but no effect of training. There was an observed trend that animals fed a low protein meal prior to the memory task performed worse than high protein groups. Future studies could investigate different intensities of exercise and volumes of training, in addition to considering the combined effects of exercise and diet on hippocampal-dependent memory.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Cognition, Exercise, Hippocampal, Learning, Memory, Nutrition
Hippocampus (Brain)
Nutrition $x Psychological aspects
Exercise $x Psychological aspects

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